“Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.” -- Igor Stravinsky
Either I'm missing a pun, God is less impressive than I thought, or you are more easily impressed than I thought.
Or maybe you are just not that sharp at mathematics.The physicist Richard Feynman called the [above] equation "our jewel" and "one of the most remarkable, almost astounding, formulas in all of mathematics."Math Wiki says, "When Euler's formula is evaluated at θ = π, it yields the simpler, but equally astonishing Euler's identity."I can keep going if you want, finding you mathematician after mathematician describing how "astonishing" and "amazing" this identity is. Don't worry: we can't all have an appreciation for all subjects!
This formula relates the five most fundamental numbers in mathematics in a formula simpler than anyone could have imagined existed before Euler discovered it.And, of course, if we have the expanded version:cos θ + i sin θ = e^(iθ)We have elegantly related the exponential and trigonometric functions, in a way no one expected could be done before Euler!Top that all off with the fact that this formula emerges naturally in the process of solving second-order differential equations, and I think we pretty much have a "God trifecta" here.
"The physicist Richard Feynman called the [above] equation..."He was referring to Euler's formula, not Euler's identity."...we have the expanded version:"No, Euler's identity is a special case of Euler's formula (actually one of two special cases where the imaginary part is zero. There are also two special cases where the real part is zero.) The interesting thing to me about Euler's identity is that it makes it clear that Pi being defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter was the wrong choice. If Pi was defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius Euler's identity would be e^pi*i = 1. Now *that's* beautiful. As it is written in your post, it's precisely 180 degrees from perfection. Evidence of the devil perhaps?
Greego, you are new here, so welcome, and let me tell you why in the future I won't bother posting comments from you like the above:1) "He was referring to Euler's formula, not Euler's identity."You really think that he wouldn't have meant his remarks to apply to both, since, as someone points out, one is just a special case of the other? I sure do.2) "No, Euler's identity is a special case of Euler's formula..."Oh boy, now I'm really thinking "delete." What is the general case in relation to the special case? Well, it is an EXPANDED version of it, isn't it, applying more generally! So you just told me "No," and then re-stated exactly what I said in different words."The interesting thing to me about Euler's identity is that it makes it clear that Pi being defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter was the wrong choice."The interesting thing about this remark is it shows an inability to see through arbitrary choices of symbols to the underlying mathematical truth, which is exactly the same whether pi is defined in terms of the radius or diameter, and certainly not 180 degrees from the same, as you suggest.
The real point Daniel is that naively these seem to have nothing to do with each other. Pi is a ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter. e is the infinite limit of a certain formula in calculus that seems unconnected to circles. i is the 'imaginary number' that no-one could understand but seem to help solve cubic equations. That's reall all that was known about them before Euler. And then suddenly this formula connects them all, an simply. It's a real shock the first time you see it if you actually know all the other stuff.Of course the "proof" of god is wrong.
"Proof of" was hyperbole: obvious, I hoped. "But really good argument for" is quite accurate: it is just this sort of thing that made theists out of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and in modern times Kurt Godel. And Euler himself was of course deeply religious, and certainly would have viewed his own work as strong evidence of the divine.
Thank you for dropping by Greego. See ya around the Internet sometime.
Good post, Gene.
Thanks. I think even an atheist like Feynman, who actually understood the significance of the above formula, who have said, "Yeah, I certainly can see how someone might take this as evidence for God!"
Unfortunately I can't remember ever reading him say anything like that. He was pretty upset when some orthodox Jewish guys asked him if electricity were fire because they wanted to know if they could use their lights on a holy day. (I might be botching the details.) And there's a video floating around of him saying, "I'm not afraid to admit I don't know," where he's criticizing religious people.I'm not saying your observation here is wrong, just that unfortunately, the atheists have a pretty good claim on Feynman.
We need a new word then Gene: Eulier-than-thou.
My complex analysis prof, when he proved it, looked at the class for reactions. Most of the class was applied math types (pure math was a small cohort at my school) who just took it in stride: oh, another formula. Those few of us who were stunned he said were the real mathematicians.
You mean the real theologians. The prof must have had a thick accent.
He sounded exactly like Steve Landsburg in fact!
I think you need to be more explicit here at the end...
An old maths teacher once asked us what we thought was the most interesting number in that identity. He seemed offended when I said i...