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# calculus of variations

From *The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48*:

Variation \Va`ri*a"tion\, n. [OE. variatioun, F. variation, L. variatio. See Vary.] 1. The act of varying; a partial change in the form, position, state, or qualities of a thing; modification; alteration; mutation; diversity; deviation; as, a variation of color in different lights; a variation in size; variation of language. [1913 Webster] The essences of things are conceived not capable of any such variation. --Locke. [1913 Webster] 2. Extent to which a thing varies; amount of departure from a position or state; amount or rate of change. [1913 Webster] 3. (Gram.) Change of termination of words, as in declension, conjugation, derivation, etc. [1913 Webster] 4. (Mus.) Repetition of a theme or melody with fanciful embellishments or modifications, in time, tune, or harmony, or sometimes change of key; the presentation of a musical thought in new and varied aspects, yet so that the essential features of the original shall still preserve their identity. [1913 Webster] 5. (Alg.) One of the different arrangements which can be made of any number of quantities taking a certain number of them together. [1913 Webster] Annual variation (Astron.), the yearly change in the right ascension or declination of a star, produced by the combined effects of the precession of the equinoxes and the proper motion of the star. Calculus of variations. See under Calculus. Variation compass. See under Compass. Variation of the moon (Astron.), an inequality of the moon's motion, depending on the angular distance of the moon from the sun. It is greater at the octants, and zero at the quadratures. Variation of the needle (Geog. & Naut.), the angle included between the true and magnetic meridians of a place; the deviation of the direction of a magnetic needle from the true north and south line; -- called also {declination of the needle}. [1913 Webster] Syn: Change; vicissitude; variety; deviation. [1913 Webster] .

From *The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48*:

Calculus \Cal"cu*lus\, n.; pl. Calculi. [L, calculus. See Calculate, and Calcule.] 1. (Med.) Any solid concretion, formed in any part of the body, but most frequent in the organs that act as reservoirs, and in the passages connected with them; as, biliary calculi; urinary calculi, etc. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) A method of computation; any process of reasoning by the use of symbols; any branch of mathematics that may involve calculation. [1913 Webster] Barycentric calculus, a method of treating geometry by defining a point as the center of gravity of certain other points to which co["e]fficients or weights are ascribed. Calculus of functions, that branch of mathematics which treats of the forms of functions that shall satisfy given conditions. Calculus of operations, that branch of mathematical logic that treats of all operations that satisfy given conditions. Calculus of probabilities, the science that treats of the computation of the probabilities of events, or the application of numbers to chance. Calculus of variations, a branch of mathematics in which the laws of dependence which bind the variable quantities together are themselves subject to change. Differential calculus, a method of investigating mathematical questions by using the ratio of certain indefinitely small quantities called differentials. The problems are primarily of this form: to find how the change in some variable quantity alters at each instant the value of a quantity dependent upon it. Exponential calculus, that part of algebra which treats of exponents. Imaginary calculus, a method of investigating the relations of real or imaginary quantities by the use of the imaginary symbols and quantities of algebra. Integral calculus, a method which in the reverse of the differential, the primary object of which is to learn from the known ratio of the indefinitely small changes of two or more magnitudes, the relation of the magnitudes themselves, or, in other words, from having the differential of an algebraic expression to find the expression itself. [1913 Webster]