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e - The Story of a Number

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The interest earned on a bank account, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis are all intimately connected with the mysterious number e. In this informal and engaging history, Eli Maor portrays the curious characters and the elegant mathematics that lie behind the number. Designed for a reader with only a modest mathematical background, this biography brings out the central importance of e to mathematics and illuminates a golden era in the age of science.

Author: Maor Eli
Publisher: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
Pages: 227
ISBN: 9780691168487
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2015



2Recognition113Financial Matters234To the Limit, If It Exists285Forefathers of the Calculus406Prelude to Breakthrough497Squaring the Hyperbola588The Birth of a New Science709The Great Controversy8310e[superscript x]: The Function That Equals its Own Derivative9811e[superscript theta]: Spira Mirabilis11412(e[superscript x] + e[superscript -x])/2: The Hanging Chain14013e[superscript ix]: "The Most Famous of All Formulas"15314e[superscript x + iy]: The Imaginary Becomes Real16415But What Kind of Number Is It?183App. 1. Some Additional Remarks on Napier's Logarithms195App. 2. The Existence of lim (1 + 1/n)[superscript n] as n [approaches] [infinity]197App. 3. A Heuristic Derivation of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus200App. 4. The Inverse Relation between lim (b[superscript h] - 1)/h = 1 and lim (1 + h)[superscript 1/h] = b as h [approaches] 0202App. 5. An Alternative Definition of the Logarithmic Function203App. 6. Two Properties of the Logarithmic Spiral205App. 7. Interpretation of the Parameter [phi] in the Hyperbolic Functions208App. 8. e to One Hundred Decimal Places211Bibliography213

Eli Maor is a former professor of the history of mathematics at Loyola University Chicago. His books include the internationally acclaimed To Infinity and Beyond, e: The Story of a Number, The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History, and Music by the Numbers (all Princeton).

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