How do engineers use calculus?


Quick Answer

Engineers use calculus to model and control systems. An example of the use of calculus is maximizing efficiency by making structures more stable with fewer materials. Variables encountered in everyday life include heat, electric currents and vibrations. Engineers can measure the change in these conditions during the design phase.

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Full Answer

Engineers also use calculus to optimize values. Calculus helps engineers find the slope of any curve and the volume of any irregular shape. Calculus can be utilized to figure information about the motion of objects from their speed or acceleration. Speedometers on vehicles are a result of calculus. Architects use calculus as well when building skyscrapers and bridges.

Calculus is also used in biology for bacteria growth rates, computer science for system design and medicine for the amount of drugs used over time, but physics tends to be the most common everyday application of calculus. Calculus measures an instantaneous rate of change, and the branch of calculus used in science and engineering is Newtonian calculus. While Isaac Newton developed the calculus used in physics, Gottfried Leibniz developed the symbols adopted by the world. Both are often credited with the creation of calculus. Calculus is also used in economics, but it utilizes stochastic calculus, which has functions that are continuous but not differentiable.

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