Thursday, November 20, 2014

Euler's Alchemy

                              e + 1 = 0 

Nice Lee Simmons piece today for Wired, rhapsodizing on "Euler's identity":

Love this wormhole analogy toward the end:
"But the weirdest thing about Euler’s formula—given that it relies on imaginary numbers—is that it’s so immensely useful in the real world. By translating one type of motion into another, it lets engineers convert messy trig problems (you know, sines, secants, and so on) into more tractable algebra—like a wormhole between separate branches of math. It’s the secret sauce in Fourier transforms used to digitize music, and it tames all manner of wavy things in quantum mechanics, electronics, and signal processing; without it, computers might not exist."
Give it a read....

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