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wrote...
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7 years ago
Hi, I'm going to be a physics major this Septembre. Although I won't be taking my first EM class until second year, I am just curious how integrals are useful in this discipline? I've been doing a lot of self-taught calculus over the summer and the only possible application I can think of for integrals is finding the position of an object if given speed or speed when given acceleration. Can you also post an example of a question and how solving it requires integration? Thanks in advance.
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wrote...
7 years ago
Integrals aren't used a lot, but they are used. When calculating currents and voltage in circuits with inductors and capacitors, quite often the best way to determine the values is by using integrals. There are usually ways to come up with the answer without using Integrals too, but if you know how to use them deftly, they can save a lot of time in calculating things.
darwin
wrote...
7 years ago
Well, integrals allow you to calculate something that is changing over time, since a lot of things in real life are always changing (temperature, pressure, motion, etc.)

There first two equations that come to my mind (because I use them) are the voltage of an inductor and current of a capacitor.

V(inductor)= L di/dt
i(capacitor)= C dV/dt

To find the current of the inductor you'll have to integrate di = V/L dt over some period of time (usually nanoseconds or less) and if you want to find the voltage of the capacitor you'd have to integrate dV = i/C dt.

If you are designing an electronic circuit (specially at the chip or circuit board level), you must know how much current and voltages you might end up getting and to do so, you'll need to know how to calculate those values using integrals.
wrote...
6 years ago

Depending on your university and how the E&M course will be taught, but when I took it back in course, integral was heavily used.  If your school is hard core science, then you may need to brush up on your integral calculus.
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