# Integral Function

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• In mathematics, an integral assigns numbers to functions in a way that can describe displacement, area, volume, and other concepts that arise by combining infinitesimal data. Integration is one of the two main operations of calculus, with its inverse operation, differentiation, being the other. Given a function of a real variable and an interval [a, b] of the real line, the definite integral : $\displaystyle{ \int_a^b f(x)\,dx }$ can be interpreted informally as the signed area of the region in the -plane that is bounded by the graph of , the -axis and the vertical lines x a and x b. The area above the -axis adds to the total and that below the -axis subtracts from the total.
The operation of integration, up to an additive constant, is the inverse of the operation of differentiation. For this reason, the term integral may also refer to the related notion of the antiderivative, a function whose derivative is the given function . In this case, it is called an indefinite integral and is written: : $\displaystyle{ F(x) = \int f(x)\,dx. }$ The integrals discussed in this article are those termed definite integrals. It is the fundamental theorem of calculus that connects differentiation with the definite integral: if is a continuous real-valued function defined on a closed interval [a, b], then, once an antiderivative of is known, the definite integral of over that interval is given by : $\displaystyle{ \int_a^b \, f(x) dx = \left[ F(x) \right]_a^b = F(b) - F(a) \, . }$ The principles of integration were formulated independently by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the late 17th century, who thought of the integral as an infinite sum of rectangles of infinitesimal width. Bernhard Riemann gave a rigorous mathematical definition of integrals. It is based on a limiting procedure that approximates the area of a curvilinear region by breaking the region into thin vertical slabs. Beginning in the 19th century, more sophisticated notions of integrals began to appear, where the type of the function as well as the domain over which the integration is performed has been generalised. A line integral is defined for functions of two or more variables, and the interval of integration [a, b] is replaced by a curve connecting the two endpoints. In a surface integral, the curve is replaced by a piece of a surface in three-dimensional space.