Differential calculus

How would you like to follow in the footsteps of Euclid and Archimedes? Would you like to be able to determine precisely how fast Usain Bolt is accelerating exactly two seconds after the starting gun? Differential calculus deals with the study of the rates at which quantities change. It is one of the two principal areas of calculus (integration being the other).
Community Questions

Limits basics

Limits are intuitive, yet elusive. Learn what they are all about and how to find limits of functions from graphs or tables of values. Learn about the difference between one-sided and two-sided limits and how they relate to each other.

Continuity

Continuous functions are, in essence, functions whose graphs can be drawn without lifting up your pen. This may sound simple, but this is in fact a very rich subject. Learn how continuity is defined using limits, and about a main property of all continuous functions -- the Intermediate value theorem.

Limits from equations

Now that we have all the conceptual stuff laid down, we can start have some fun with finding limits of various functions. Some of these limits don't want you to find them so fast, but we're sure you'll get them in the end!

Infinite limits

Basically, a limit must be at a specific point and have a specific value in order to be defined. Nevertheless, there are two kinds of limits that break these rules. One kind is unbounded limits -- limits that approach ± infinity (you may know them as "vertical asymptotes"). The other kind is limits at infinity -- these limits describe the value a function is approaching as x goes to ± infinity (you may know them as "horizontal asymptotes").

Derivative introduction

Get comfortable with the big idea of differential calculus, the derivative. The derivative of a function has many different interpretations and they are all very useful when dealing with differential calculus problems. This topic covers all of those interpretations, including the formal definition of the derivative and the notion of differentiable functions.

Basic differentiation

Differentiating functions is not an easy task! Make your first steps in this vast and rich world with some of the most basic differentiation rules, including the Power rule. It will surely make you feel more powerful.

Product, quotient, & chain rules

Covered basic differentiation? Great! Now let's take things to the next level. In this topic, you will learn general rules that tell us how to differentiate products of functions, quotients of functions, and composite functions. Anxious to find the derivative of eˣ⋅sin(x²)? You've come to the right place.

Differentiating common functions

Now that you know all the important differentiation rules, let's solve some problems that involve the differentiation of various common functions.

Advanced differentiation

The chain rule sets the stage for implicit differentiation, which in turn allows us to differentiate inverse functions (and specifically the inverse trigonometric functions). This is really the top of the line when it comes to differentiation.

Analyzing functions with calculus

Let's put all of our differentiation abilities to use, by analyzing the graphs of various functions. As you will see, the derivative and the second derivative of a function can tell us a lot about the function's graph.

Derivative applications

Solve real world problems (and some pretty elaborate mathematical problems) using the power of differential calculus.
Differential calculus: Questions

Give a great answer

Be a guide

We're teaching each other – so don't just answer "Yes" or "No", share your answer the way your favorite teacher would.

Vote, don't echo

If someone has already answered the question well, don't repeat their answer – vote it up instead.

Flag inappropriate posts

Here are posts to avoid making. If you do encounter them, flag them for attention from our Guardians.

abuse

  • disrespectful or offensive
  • an advertisement

not helpful

  • low quality
  • not about the video topic
  • contentious posts about politics, religion/atheism, or personal issues
  • soliciting votes or seeking badges
  • a homework question
  • a duplicate answer
  • repeatedly making the same post

wrong category

  • a tip or thanks in Questions
  • an answer that should be its own question

about the site