# Questions tagged [calculus]

For basic questions about limits, derivatives, integrals and applications, mainly of one-variable functions.

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### Is $\frac{\textrm{d}y}{\textrm{d}x}$ not a ratio?

In the book Thomas's Calculus (11th edition) it is mentioned (Section 3.8 pg 225) that the derivative $\frac{\textrm{d}y}{\textrm{d}x}$ is not a ratio. Couldn't it be interpreted as a ratio, because ...
23answers
123k views

### How to prove that $\lim\limits_{x\to0}\frac{\sin x}x=1$?

How can one prove the statement $$\lim_{x\to 0}\frac{\sin x}x=1$$ without using the Taylor series of $\sin$, $\cos$ and $\tan$? Best would be a geometrical solution. This is homework. In my math ...
8answers
192k views

### Integral $\int_{-1}^1\frac1x\sqrt{\frac{1+x}{1-x}}\ln\left(\frac{2\,x^2+2\,x+1}{2\,x^2-2\,x+1}\right) \ \mathrm dx$

I need help with this integral: $$I=\int_{-1}^1\frac1x\sqrt{\frac{1+x}{1-x}}\ln\left(\frac{2\,x^2+2\,x+1}{2\,x^2-2\,x+1}\right)\ \mathrm dx.$$ The integrand graph looks like this: $\hspace{1in}$ The ...
8answers
31k views

### Calculating the length of the paper on a toilet paper roll

Fun with Math time. My mom gave me a roll of toilet paper to put it in the bathroom, and looking at it I immediately wondered about this: is it possible, through very simple math, to calculate (with ...
7answers
30k views

### How can you prove that a function has no closed form integral?

I've come across statements in the past along the lines of "function $f(x)$ has no closed form integral", which I assume means that there is no combination of the operations: addition/subtraction ...
4answers
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19answers
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### Striking applications of integration by parts

What are your favorite applications of integration by parts? (The answers can be as lowbrow or highbrow as you wish. I'd just like to get a bunch of these in one place!) Thanks for your ...
8answers
34k views

### Lesser-known integration tricks

I am currently studying for the GRE math subject test, which heavily tests calculus. I've reviewed most of the basic calculus techniques (integration by parts, trig substitutions, etc.) I am now ...
8answers
21k views

### Why is $1^{\infty}$ considered to be an indeterminate form

From Wikipedia: In calculus and other branches of mathematical analysis, an indeterminate form is an algebraic expression obtained in the context of limits. Limits involving algebraic operations are ...
6answers
162k views

### Derivative of sigmoid function $\sigma (x) = \frac{1}{1+e^{-x}}$

In my AI textbook there is this paragraph, without any explanation. The sigmoid function is defined as follows $$\sigma (x) = \frac{1}{1+e^{-x}}.$$ This function is easy to differentiate ...
12answers
56k views

### What is $dx$ in integration?

When I was at school and learning integration in maths class at A Level my teacher wrote things like this on the board. $$\int f(x)\, dx$$ When he came to explain the meaning of the $dx$, he told us ...
37answers
12k views

### Is there any integral for the Golden Ratio?

I was wondering about important/famous mathematical constants, like $e$, $\pi$, $\gamma$, and obviously the golden ratio $\phi$. The first three ones are really well known, and there are lots of ...
15answers
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### Why does factoring eliminate a hole in the limit?

$$\lim _{x\rightarrow 5}\frac{x^2-25}{x-5} = \lim_{x\rightarrow 5} (x+5)$$ I understand that to evaluate a limit that has a zero ("hole") in the denominator we have to factor and cancel terms, and ...
1answer
12k views

### How to determine with certainty that a function has no elementary antiderivative?

Given an expression such as $f(x) = x^x$, is it possible to provide a thorough and rigorous proof that there is no function $F(x)$ (expressible in terms of known algebraic and transcendental functions)...
1answer
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13answers
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### In calculus, which questions can the naive ask that the learned cannot answer?

Number theory is known to be a field in which many questions that can be understood by secondary-school pupils have defied the most formidable mathematicians' attempts to answer them. Calculus is not ...
8answers
8k views

### Proof of Frullani's theorem

How can I prove the Theorem of Frullani? I did not even know all the hypothesis that $f$ must satisfy, but I think that this are Let $\,f:\left[ {0,\infty } \right) \to \mathbb R$ be a a continuously ...
3answers
3k views

### Is the derivative the natural logarithm of the left-shift?

(Disclaimer: I'm a high school student, and my knowledge of mathematics extends only to some elementary high school calculus. I don't know if what I'm about to do is valid mathematics.) I noticed ...
4answers
21k views

### Motivation for Ramanujan's mysterious $\pi$ formula

The following formula for $\pi$ was discovered by Ramanujan: $$\frac1{\pi} = \frac{2\sqrt{2}}{9801} \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(4k)!(1103+26390k)}{(k!)^4 396^{4k}}\!$$ Does anyone know how it works, or ...
11answers
8k views

### Ways to evaluate $\int \sec \theta \, \mathrm d \theta$

The standard approach for showing $\int \sec \theta \, \mathrm d \theta = \ln|\sec \theta + \tan \theta| + C$ is to multiply by $\frac{\sec \theta + \tan \theta}{\sec \theta + \tan \theta}$ and then ...
6answers
30k views

### Why is integration so much harder than differentiation?

If a function is a combination of other functions whose derivatives are known via composition, addition, etc., the derivative can be calculated using the chain rule and the like. But even the product ...
3answers
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13answers
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We have a sequence of numbers $x_n$ determined by the equality $$x_n = \frac{x_{n-1} + x_{n-2}}{2}$$ The first and zeroth term are $x_1$ and $x_0$.The following limit must be expressed in terms of $... 11answers 7k views ### Calculating the integral$\int_{0}^{\infty} \frac{\cos x}{1+x^2}\mathrm{d}x\$ without using complex analysis

Suppose that we do not know anything about the complex analysis (numbers). In this case, how to calculate the following integral in closed form? $$\int_0^\infty\frac{\cos\;x}{1+x^2}\mathrm{d}x$$