Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Euler's number, also known as e. First discovered in the seventeenth century by the Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli when he was studying compound interest, e is now recognised as one of the most important and interesting numbers in mathematics. Roughly equal to 2.718, e is useful in studying many everyday situations, from personal savings to epidemics. It also features in Euler's Identity, sometimes described as the most beautiful equation ever written.

With:

Colva Roney-Dougal
Reader in Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews

June Barrow-Green
Senior Lecturer in the History of Maths at the Open University

Vicky Neale
Whitehead Lecturer at the Mathematical Institute and Balliol College at the University of Oxford

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 25 Sep 2014 21:30

Related topics

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Colva Roney-Dougal at the University of St Andrews

 

June Barrow-Green at the Open University

 

Vicky Neale at the University of Oxford

 

The number e

 

e - Wikipedia

 

 

READING LIST:

 

William Dunham, Euler: The Master of Us All (The Mathematical Association of America, 1999)

 

Tim Gowers, June Barrow-Green and Imre Leader (eds.), The Princeton Companion to Mathematics (Princeton University Press, 2008)

 

Jan Gullberg and Peter Hilton, Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers (W W Norton & Co Ltd, 1997)

 

Julian Havil, John Napier: Life, Logarithms and Legacy (Princeton University Press, 2014)

 

Georges Ifrah, The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer (John Wiley & Sons, 2000)

 

Eli Maor, e: The Story of a Number (Princeton University Press, 2009)

 

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestColva Roney-Dougal
Interviewed GuestJune Barrow-Green
Interviewed GuestVicky Neale
ProducerThomas Morris

Featured in...

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

Hildegard of Bingen

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

The Matter of the North

BBC_R4_MELVYN_BRAGG_AHW-1920.jpg

Melvyn Bragg explores the pivotal role of England's north in shaping modern Britain.

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.

Related Links