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Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures in Applied Mathematics by Robert B. Banks

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8

Another Look at Some Famous Numbers

In the preceding chapter we examined several of the most important numerical constants appearing in mathematics. The best known of these “famous numbers” are, of course, π (the ratio of the circumference and diameter of a circle) and e (the base of natural logarithms). We also looked briefly at three other important numbers: ø (the golden ratio), γ (Euler's constant), and δ (the Feigenbaum number).

In this chapter, the subject of famous numbers is continued but aimed in a somewhat different direction. We begin with what are called real numbers, imaginary numbers, and complex numbers. First, some rules are given for procedures such as the addition of complex numbers—so-called vector addition. Then a very ...

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