Hi,

i'm just starting calculus and have been trying to figure out the derivative defined as a limit for what already seems like far too long. I've heard people say that the formal definition is hardly ever used in real world situations, but as i'm just starting out i feel i need some insight into how much time to spend on this topic at this point.

What level of understanding of the formal definition of the derivative is actually neccesary in physics and engineering? (BTW the context of my questions is that i hope to study engineering in the future, which i imagine will involve calculus based physics)

My book goes into excruciating detail to describe it, but is the reason for this simply to show me the logic, or is it because i will have to think conceptually(?) in terms of the formal definition later in maths and physics?

In other words, can i get away with just learning it superficially for now? I don't see how i can hope to understand it properly without first studying inductive logic and maybe predicate logic anyway.

Should i just move on?

Thanks in advance for any help with this.