E - base of natural logarithm/Talk

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In The Book on Numbers by John Conway and Richard Guy, the number e is persistently called Napier's number. I know that John Napier more or less discovered logarithms, but is this really the correct name? -- JanHidders


I don't think that's too common; Weisstein lists it as "Napier's Constant", but the main entry is under "e". Encyclopedia Britannica doesn't list "Napier's Number" or "Napier's Constant" at all. Most people call it "the base of the natural logarithm", I believe.

e is still called Euler's number in many texts too introductory to worry about confusion with &gamma (Euler's constant).


Could somebody explain what `e' is useful for? It was always difficult for me to explain it to mathematical newbies.

And could somebody explain ei*π = -1, and why it is so? -- Taw

See The most remarkable formula in the world (where it is poorly explained to the layman, sorry!) -- drj

It's used mainly because it arises "naturally" in calculus, and is related to useful functions (eg., trigonometric and hyperbolic functions). A connection with pi is inevitable, as pi is related (via polar coordinates) to -1 and the trigonometric functions.

Zundark - as far as I know, you should be entitled to claim that you invented the word "miscorrection" :) Great stuff! - MMGB

I'd like to take credit for it, but Google finds about 140 pages with this word. --Zundark, 2001 Nov 26
Really?? To me it would appear to be an Oxymoron but oh well :) - MMGB


D'oh! I really need to quit editing pages when I'm so tired I can hardly type straight. At least I got the sum notation definition right...--BlackGriffen