For Quanta, Pradeep Mutalik explained why e, the transcendental math constant, is just the best:

I still remember my first introduction to

e. We were studying common logarithms in school, and I marveled at their ability to turn complicated multiplication problems into simple addition just by representing all numbers as fractional powers of 10. How, I wondered, were fractional and irrational powers calculated? It is, of course, easy to calculate integer powers such as 10^{2}and 10^{3}, and in a pinch you could even calculate 10^{2.5}by finding the square root of 10^{5}. But how did they figure out, as the log table asserted, that 20 was 10^{1.30103}? How could a complete table of logarithms of all numbers be constructed from scratch? I just couldn’t imagine how that could be done.

But he later learnt of the “magic formula” which is a special power series or sometimes known as “Euler’s Great Formula“.

If you’re into maths puzzles and the joys of Euler’s number, read the rest on Quanta’s website. And check out this cool maths sequence.

Filed under: logarithm numbers