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Purpose of Integrals

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Date: 4/13/96 at 17:14:38
From: Anonymous
Subject: What are Integrals Used For?

I am studying calculus, but the book I am using does not say what
integrals are used for, or what their purpose is.  I think it has
something to do with physics.
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Date: 6/6/96 at 14:36:26
From: Doctor Leigh
Subject: Re: What are Integrals Used For?

In the pure math world integrals are used to find the area under a
curve on a graph.  In physics many of the formulas that are used
are derived from other formulas using integrals.  In many of the
formulas dealing with electric fields and forces integrals are
used to make a complex formula more simple in specific cases.  For
example if you have a charged particle inside of a sphere the
maginitude of the electric field outside of the sphere is normally
a very complex formula.  Another formula must be calculated for
use inside of the sphere.  But it just so happens that the formula
for the inside of the sphere is the integral of the formula for
outside the sphere.

Thank you for your question.

-Doctor Leigh Ann,  The Math Forum

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Associated Topics:
High School Physics/Chemistry

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