Q. What is the greatest mathematical formula ever?
The winner every time The winner every time The equation that sets the gold standard of mathematical beauty What does this formula mean, and why is it so important?
The number e and how things grow What does 100% annual compound interest mean? Start with £100, in one year have £200, in two years have £400 Start with £x, wait n years, get £y
But, we could PHASE the interest Break up the year into M intervals and make M increases of (100/M)% M=1 100% once £200 M=2 50% twice £225 M=4 25% four times £244.14 M=10 10% ten times £259.37 M=100 1% 100 times £270.48 M=1000 0.1% 1000 times £271.69 Start with £100, how much do we get? As M gets very large these numbers approach 2.718 times £100
If we repeat this phased interest starting with £x for n years we get In general the exponential function tells us how everything changes and grows, from temperatures to populations.
, circles, odd numbers and integrals The Greeks knew that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is the same for all circles Archimedes showed that Chinese
Negative numbers and -1 A short history of counting: Early people counted on their fingers Suppose that someone lends you a cow. But the cow dies How many cows do you have now? Good for counting cows
-1,-2,-3,-4,-5 …. If x is the number of cows, we must solve the equation To solve this we must invent a new type of number, the negative numbers These numbers obey rules
An imaginary tale Having invented the negative numbers, do we need any more? How do we solve the equation Invent the new (imaginary) number i Complex number
Euler realised that there was a wonderful link between complex numbers and geometry a+ib -b+ia Multiplying by i rotates the dashed line by 90 degrees Multiplying by rotates by the angle Real Imaginary
And now for the great moment ……. Putting it all together …. Eulers fabulous formula … Is a rotation in the complex plane