Calculus is a branch of mathematics that studies phenomena involving change along dimensions, such as time, force, mass, length and temperature. Studying calculus is important because it provides a basis for understanding mathematical concepts and also helps a person develop practical scientific and engineering sense and problem solving skills, according to Understanding Calculus. As with any other scientific method, calculus allows people to define the objective world in terms of existing quantifiable conditions. In a sense, calculus is a form of communication about the world just as much as language is a form of communication about thought. Newton's study of gravity was instrumental in the development of calculus and the understanding of how objects behave in nature. According to his theories, velocity is the rate of change, or derivative, of distance with respect to time. As a result, acceleration is the rate of change, or derivative, of velocity with respect to time.