The joys of e (Euler’s number)

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 102 and 103, and in a pinch you could even calculate 102.5 by finding the square root of 105. But how did they figure out, as the log table asserted, that 20 was 101.30103? 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.

Categories: Mathematics

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