Differential Calculus

  • Athel Cornish-Bowden


Traditional geometry is concerned with the shapes of constructions on paper or in space and with the relationships between shapes. It has two distinct extensions into the more numerical domains of mathematics: trigonometry and co-ordinate geometry. Trigonometry is concerned with calculating the relationships between lengths and angles, whereas co-ordinate geometry has almost the reverse objective: it allows the use of geometrical insight and understanding for studying problems that are not essentially geometrical at all but algebraic. It happens that biochemistry is rather little concerned with real shapes, distances or angles; consequently neither traditional geometry nor trigonometry occupy the centre of the mathematical stage for the biochemist. Co-ordinate geometry, by contrast, is crucial, because many important relationships in physical chemistry and biochemistry appear in the first instance as algebraic expressions, and in this form they are too abstract to be immediately comprehended.


Substrate Inhibition Differential Calculus Geometrical Insight Distinct Extension General Straight Line 
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Copyright information

© Athel Cornish-Bowden 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athel Cornish-Bowden
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BirminghamUK

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