O'Reilly logo

Good Math by Mark C. Chu-Carroll

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Does e Have a Meaning?

Does e mean anything? Or is it just an artifact—a number that’s just a result of the way that numbers work?

That’s more a question for philosophers than mathematicians. But I’m inclined to say that the number e is an artifact, but that the natural logarithm is deeply meaningful. The natural logarithm is full of amazing properties: it’s the only logarithm that can be written with a closed-form series; it’s got that wonderful interval property with the 1/x curve; it really is a deeply natural thing that expresses very important properties of the basic concepts of numbers. As a logarithm, the natural logarithm had to have some number as its base; it just happens that it works out to be the value e. But it’s the logarithm ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required