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Analysis

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Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle, though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development. As a formal concept, the method has variously been ascribed to Ibn al-Haytham, Descartes (Discourse on the Method), Galileo, and Newton, as a practical method of physical discovery.

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In calculus, a branch of mathematics, the derivative is a measurement of how a function changes when the values of its inputs change. Loosely speaking, a derivative can be thought of as how much a quantity is changing at some given point. For example, the derivative of the position or distance of a car at some point in time is the instantaneous velocity, or instantaneous speed (respectively), at which that car is traveling (conversely the integral of the velocity is the car's position).

A closely related notion is the differential of a function.

The derivative of a function at a chosen input value describes the best linear approximation of the function near that input value. For a real-valued function of a single real variable, the derivative at a point equals the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function at that point. In higher dimensions, the derivative of a function at a point is a linear transformation called the linearization.[1].

The process of finding a derivative is called differentiation. The fundamental theorem of calculus states that differentiation is the reverse process to integration.

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In complex dynamics, the Julia set of a holomorphic function informally consists of those points whose long-time behavior under repeated iteration of can change drastically under arbitrarily small perturbations. Above is a 3D slice of a 4D Julia set.

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Topics in Analysis

General Calculus Differentiation Integration
Functions Harmonic/Fourier analysis Measure theory Miscellaneous

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  1. ^ Differential calculus, as discussed in this article, is a very well-established mathematical discipline for which there are many sources. Almost all of the material in this article can be found in Apostol 1967, Apostol 1969, and Spivak 1994.