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Home » Yes electrical engineers use a lot of calculus and here is how

Yes electrical engineers use a lot of calculus and here is how

if you are wondering how much caluclus electricla engineers do, in this post you will know. We’ll mention some simple examples and uses of caluclus in electricla engineering and know it critical importance in the field.

Do electrical engineers use calculus

Yes, electrical engineers use a lot of calculus in their jobs, the principal calculus topics electrical engineers use are derivatives and integrals,  they are so useful to determine the power electrical systems,  calculating the electrical current should flow in the electronics boards, or even in microelectronics application like choosing the right components value to put in the circuit in the design phase.

Electrical engineering has a lot of specialties including:

Each specialty uses calculus depending on the nature of the task, for instance, Electrical engineers who work in Power Systems use calculus like derivatives and integrals to calculate the fluctuation of power delivered by electrical plants that feed houses with electricity.

We will be mentioning the example of calculus used in all the Electrical engineering specialties later in our article.

Does electrical engineering require calculus?

Electrical engineering requires you to study all the calculus subjects in college,  including Calculus 1 calculus 2, and calculus 3, or multivariable calculus.  An electrical engineering student spends 3 semesters studying Calculus before taking principal electrical engineering subjects.

 In the first semester, students are required to complete Calculus 1,  which is the first calculus course they discover, if they didn’t take AP Calculus courses in high school. In Calculus 1 students discover the Foundation topics like derivatives and integrals.

 In the second-semester electrical engineering students have to complete calculus 2 after succeeding in Calculus 1,  the calculus 2 topics are similar to Calculus 1 but students study more advanced examples of derivatives and integrals than they didn’t do in Calculus 1.

 The last and the most difficult calculus course in electrical engineering is multivariable calculus or calculus 3 which students take in the third semester.   It requires solid foundations in the previous calculus courses, Calculus 1 and calculus 2. 

 In multivariable calculus, students would be facing the most difficult problems that involve finding derivatives or integrals of multivariable functions. which is more challenging and difficult.

In the fourth semester, students always have a differential equation subject which is totally based on calculus.  In differential equations, students solve problems using derivatives and integrals taught in the previous calculus courses.

All these calculus subjects are required to be complete to be eligible and take the basic of electrical engineering subjects like:

How often do electrical engineers use calculus

Electrical engineers used calculus almost every day from the basics applications in electrical design like determining the time circuits take to charge or discharge, to more advanced topics like signal and systems used in voice recognition like smartphones or devices like Alexa or google home.

we’re going to be listing some examples of calculus applications in electrical engineering:

1 – using calculus in circuit analysis

considering you have an electrical circuit that has 3 components:

  1. capacitors
  2. resistors
  3. power supply

These are the principal components you will be found in any electronic device, so if someone asks you to determine the current flowing in this circuit what should be doing?

the response is you have to use calculus, especially using the following calculus equations to determine the current flowing in a capacitor, the calculus equations are:

  • i : is the current that flows in a capacitor
  • c : is a capacitance value of a capacitor
  • dv/dt  is a derivative of a voltage according to the time

2 – calculus in electrical power engineering

Electrical engineers use calculus in electrical power engineering to determine the energy a system can produce.

  For instance, electrical engineers or power engineers use calculus in electrical stations or plants responsible to deliver electricity to homes.  in addition to electrical engineers who are specialized responsible for designing chargers of computers, smartphones have to consider this calculus relation that would be talking about.

  • P is the power 
  • dE/dt  the derivative of energy 

Electrical power engineers use this relation to determine the power delivered to facilities Like Houses, buildings, manufacturing, or any facility that uses electricity. This relation helps power engineers to understand the amount of power an electrical plant should deliver.

For instance, in the US, power plants offer 110V as a standard voltage, if the voltage goes up or either down by 5%, that could be detrimental to house supplies like TV, refrigerators, wash dishes, and so on, so power engineers use this relation to verify if this value is stabilized or not.

3 – signal processing  

 Signal processing is what makes it possible to transfer a talk through millions of kilometers,  in addition, it primarily involves many famous technologies like voice recognition and or voice command used in homes like Alexa or googles home.

In signal processing, electrical engineers use a lot of integrals like Fourier transform, and integrals. You can watch more information about this topic in the video below. 

Introduction to Signal Processing

4 – electronics design

Calculus is also used in electronics design, especially in embedded systems where engineers have to use calculus to design electronics boards for computers, TVs, refrigerators, and so on. Calculus is a key tool in electronics design.