# Greatest Equations Ever

#### timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the comic-shop-guy's-revenge dept.

1017
sgant writes *"What is your favorite equation? This was the question asked by Physics World in a recent poll. This is also covered in a New York Times article about the same poll. Some of the equations mentioned were the simplistic 1+1=2 and Euler's equation, e ^{i} + 1 = 0. What are some of your favorite equations?"*

## correction (5, Insightful)

## schematix (533634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618970)

## Re:correction (0)

## Enzo90910 (547270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618995)

## Re:correction (1)

## illuvata (677144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619117)

If you follow the links, you'll see that originally was used for Pi. Granted, it does look quite like n in some fonts, but you'd still think the submitter (or at least the editor) would have figured it out

## Re:correction (5, Insightful)

## niks42 (768188) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619025)

## Re:correction (1)

## schematix (533634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619037)

## Re:correction (5, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619085)

Guy created so many darn formulae that "Euler's formula" is ambiguous.

## Re:correction (1)

## bsiggers (57684) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619030)

## Re:correction (5, Informative)

## Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619058)

It combines the 5 most important numbers in all of mathematics into a single formula.It's also got the other important mathematical concepts - exponentiation (i.e. raising something to the power of something else), multiplication, addition and equals. Essentially, it's a huge nugget of maths in a tidy little wrapper.

I've got an old Sharp graphics calculator, which has both proper notation layout and a complex numbers mode. I still like keying in the 'e^(pi*i)+1', pressing 'Enter', then getting the zero, all perfectly laid out on a little LCD display...

## Re:correction (5, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619089)

Oh well. 5318008.

## Actually... (4, Insightful)

## yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619066)

If it wasn't for this equation, your cell phone wouldn't work.If it wasn't for the laws of nature things wouldn't work. The mathematical formulas are our way of expressing them.

## Submitter and Parent are stupid (1, Informative)

## sheapshearer (746106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619070)

Eurler's equations is Exp(i*theta) = cos(theta) + i*sin(theta).

Cos(theta) = -1 for theta being **ODD** multiples of PI radians [not any multiple].

Thus, the equation should be

Exp( (2n+1)*PI ) + 1 = 0, where n is a Natural number (1,2,3,4..).

2n+1 gives us all the odd positive integers...

The parent said Exp(i*PI) +1 = 0, but Exp(2*Pi)= +1, not -1....

--

Please, I need the mod points!

## Re:Submitter and Parent are stupid (3, Informative)

## pD-brane (302604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619108)

The only thing is that schematix (grandparent) misread the Pi as a 'n', which look very similar, indeed (on my screen anyway).

## Re:Submitter and Parent are stupid (1)

## pD-brane (302604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619125)

## Re:correction (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619098)

## Re:correction (-1, Offtopic)

## buzy buzy (594932) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619100)

## Re:correction (0)

## metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619101)

Scott.Beam anyone up lately, mayt?

## sum of cubes (4, Interesting)

## themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618971)

first proof, that i'd seen at least, of the existance of negative numbers.

## ok not the greatest (1)

## themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618983)

## Re:ok not the greatest (-1, Redundant)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619027)

## actually this is on topic, strangely enough (1)

## themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619063)

## Re:actually this is on topic, strangely enough (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619116)

(meant that as a compliment, just in case you misinterpret)

## Re:sum of cubes (1)

## mikeage (119105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619073)

## Re:sum of cubes (5, Interesting)

## themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619107)

I say, that until I saw the sum of cubes I internally denied the existance of negative numbers. I mean I could work with them and all, I just didn't believe in them. If you deny the existance of negative numbers, you cannot have an expression 0-1, because -1 is meaningless, so therefor the result is meaningless. It's circular reasoning, and this is why[according to my youthful very non-standard way of thinking of things]:

there is a number -1

there is a number 0

if you have two numbers, there is a third number which represents their sum.

there is a number -1 + 0

if there is a number -1 + 0 there must be a class of numbers known as negative numbers

[the direction you were going in?]

but if you cannot prove there is a number -1 + 0, you cannot even get that far.

a^3+b^3 = (a+b)(a^2 - ab + b^2 ), on the other hand, shows quite clearly that no matter what numbers a and b you pick, you end up, in your equation, with a negative number.

## donald duck frist ps0t (1)

## DonaldDuckBigO (749237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618972)

## (ot) d: (-1, Troll)

## themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618991)

and also missed

## V=IR (5, Interesting)

## oddbudman (599695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618973)

## Impressions of math equitations. (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10618974)

I was impressed by the technical background of it.

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1, Funny)

## Paster Of Muppets (787158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619019)

Waiting for everyone to switch their calculators to binary mode...

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1)

## ZigMonty (524212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619120)

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619039)

1 + 1 = 11Insufficiently geekazoid -- everyone knows 1 + 1 = 10.

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1, Funny)

## DarkDust (239124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619051)

1 + 1 = 11There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary arithmetics and those who dont :-)

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1)

## LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619082)

Except your arithmetics are unary (or at least "unique"), not binary.

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619083)

Need I point out that 1+1=10 in binary?

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1)

## Frogbert (589961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619088)

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1)

## El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619128)

0+0=00

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (4, Funny)

## Associate (317603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619109)

Those who understand binary

Those that don't

And those that think they do.

## Re:Impressions of math equitations. (1)

## rooijan (746599) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619113)

those who understand binary arithmetics and those who dontWould it be rude of me to point at that, in

binary arithmeticat least, 1 + 1 = 10?## Take a guess.... (5, Funny)

## oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618975)

Some of the equations mentioned were the simplistic 1+1=2 and Euler's equation, e^in + 1 = 0. What are some of your favorite equations?"Take a look at the username, and take a guess at mine :o)

## Re:Take a guess.... (5, Funny)

## Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619071)

Take a look at the username, and take a guess at mine :o)But shurely 1

## Re:Take a guess.... (1)

## Domini (103836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619096)

## Re:Take a guess.... (2, Interesting)

## RupW (515653) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619112)

Let's construct a number system from the very basics. We'll construct an infinite field over addition and multiplication. We have an additive unit which we'll call 0 and a multiplicative unit which we'll call 1. So we can add two multiplicative units to get 1+1. We call this 2. Therefore 1 + 1 = 2 *by definition of 2*.

So what am I missing?

## Re:Take a guess.... (1)

## node 3 (115640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619121)

The Internet: Proof that a million monkeys with keyboards won't produce the complete works of Shakespeare.The Complete Works of Shakespeare [allshakespeare.com]

Yeah, I know.

## sing it...!! (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10618977)

## Geometry and Algebra (4, Interesting)

## metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618979)

## Well... (5, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10618981)

B*u*pi * integral of e^x

Hint: Try writing it in mathematical notation.

## Re:Well... (5, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10618988)

## Re:Well... (5, Funny)

## metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619123)

Yay!

## Euler's equation (1)

## etnoy (664495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618984)

e^in + 1 = 0I read about this two weeks ago in a local newspaper. Didn't the article mean e^(i*\pi)+1=0 ?

Anyway, it could be my fonts confusing me.

## Re:Euler's equation (1)

## faragon (789704) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619035)

Another quite cool formula could be: s = e^(jw)

(tribute to Laplace et al)

## whatthe? (-1, Offtopic)

## RocketRainbow (750071) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618990)

## H = F ^ 3 (3, Insightful)

## Rob_Warwick (789939) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618996)

From Woz.

It's the most important and beautiful equation I've ever seen.

## Re:H = F ^ 3 (1)

## cwebb1977 (650175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619020)

## How about... (2)

## Paster Of Muppets (787158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10618999)

Projectile equations of motion [anl.gov] , very useful in FPS games.

## Clearly the best (1)

## obi-1-kenobi (547975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619002)

## that's an easy one.. the answer is (3, Funny)

## peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619003)

Women = Time X Money

And as we all know "time is money"

Time = Money

Therefore by substituting Money for Time we get:

Women = Money X Money

Women = (Money)2

And because "money is the root of all evil" we therefore can state:

Money = (Evil)1/2

And Since

(Money)2 = Women

Then (Money)2 = Evil

And we are forced to conclude by substituting "women" for "(money)2" from above that:

Women = Evil

## Re:that's an easy one.. the answer is (1)

## faragon (789704) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619087)

Anyway, my woman takes a 30% of my spare time, then I spend the 60% left to my Idle process.

## ThinkGeek t-shirt (5, Funny)

## bokmann (323771) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619010)

It is not just funny... if you consider the numbers not as integers, but as any float value with that integer as the first number, it is true.

## Re:ThinkGeek t-shirt (1)

## dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619055)

My favorite is the thinkgeek tshirt that says "2+2=5 for extremely large values of 2".I believe that one is referred to in literary circles as "Orwell's Postulate."

## I'd have to go for the classic: (0)

## Biotech9 (704202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619011)

## Dirac's equation of 1/2 spin: (4, Interesting)

## Jesrad (716567) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619012)

Said by Hotson to be the Equation of Everything. First part [zeitlin.net] , second part [zeitlin.net] . Worth a read IMO.

## 0 = 0 (5, Funny)

## RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619018)

## Gauss (1)

## dasnake (738419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619021)

## F=ma (1, Funny)

## Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619028)

## 1+1 = 3 (0)

## pyrros (324803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619029)

For large values of 1 (and small values of 3)

## dupe of old poll (5, Informative)

## Gathers (78832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619031)

Shashdot has already covered this in a poll! We all already know that E=mc^2 is the overall favorite, closely followed by F=ma.

http://slashdot.org/pollBooth.pl?qid=804 [slashdot.org]

## Confused... (1)

## pavese (543540) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619062)

## Sometimes greatness is in the eye of the beholder (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619033)

"These sums may look incredibly ugly to you. But I got my tenure by working on them, so they're beautiful to me."

## my favourite physics equation (1)

## JaF893 (745419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619036)

## A political one :) (-1, Troll)

## vandan (151516) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619041)

## Einstein's FULL equation (3, Informative)

## physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619043)

Anyway, just thought I'd share that because E=m^2c^4 + p^2c^2 is my favorite equation and most people think it looks a little familiar but wouldn't know what it was without a little additional explanation.

## Re:Einstein's FULL equation (5, Informative)

## dasnake (738419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619056)

Nah?

## Re:Einstein's FULL equation (2, Insightful)

## Paster Of Muppets (787158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619064)

## Re:Einstein's FULL equation (2, Insightful)

## physman (460332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619091)

## Quotation from non-mathematical world (1, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619046)

## Re:Quotation from non-mathematical world (1)

## Zilquis (633850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619052)

## Big Constant? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619075)

## I like this one too (1)

## MachDelta (704883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619086)

Intelligence * WorldPopulation = Constant

## Physics/Mathematics equation top 20 (1)

## MoobY (207480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619047)

## (Generalized) Stokes equation (4, Insightful)

## Ibag (101144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619049)

S_{dM)w=S_(M)dw

An important special case is the fundamental theorem of calculus. Not only is this a beautiful looking theorem, but important too.

Other special cases are the classical forms of green's theorem, stoke's theorem, and the divergence theorem.

I dunno if its my favorite equation, but its up there.

## Fermat's Last Theorem (1)

## cloudkj (685320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619050)

x^n + y^n = z^nhas no non-zero integer solutions forx,yandzwhenn > 2.## Everything = 42 (4, Funny)

## marcovje (205102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619057)

Everything = 42

## Some important ones... (1)

## lithium100 (624098) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619061)

Schrodinger's Equation

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Normal Distribution Curve

Einstein's Time Dilation and relativistic equations

Newtons three laws and law of universal gravitation

Fourier's transformation(s)

## an old favourite (2, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619067)

## OBLIGATORY: (1, Funny)

## marktaw.com (816752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619069)

## Re:OBLIGATORY: (1, Funny)

## SamSim (630795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619124)

## 0+2=1 (1)

## Dr.Opveter (806649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619076)

## One my calc teacher showed me (5, Funny)

## lewger (648379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619078)

Sin x / n = 6

The logic of this was that the n on the bottom cancelled out the n on the top so the result was Six. Oh well I laughed when I was shown it.

## Re:One my calc teacher showed me (1)

## Jesrad (716567) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619106)

## Re:One my calc teacher showed me (1)

## stud9920 (236753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619115)

## ... and then there was light (1)

## beuges (613130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619090)

## rigid polyvinyl chloride aka PVC (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619093)

## Paper on this (2, Interesting)

## mukund (163654) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619097)

Some beautiful equations of mathematical physics [arxiv.org]

## Distribution of answers (1)

## skraps (650379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619103)

## Worst equation ever (1)

## shoppa (464619) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619105)

Somehow manages to take the beauty of a quadractic curve and turns it into a grunge problem.

## y = r^3/3... har-de-har-har! (2, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619110)

Teacher at gifted school:

So y = r^3/3 and if you determine the rate of change in this curve correctly, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

[The Class laughs. Bart looks confused.]

Teacher:

Don't you get it, Bart?

Derivative dy = 3r^2 dr/3, or r^2 dr, or r dr r. Har-de-har-har!

Get it?

## the fundamentals (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619111)

## khinchin's constant (2, Interesting)

## harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619122)

That's my favorite.

I used to even use "exp(pi^2/12ln2)" as my name in Quakeworld.

## 'e' is for "cool formula" (1, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10619130)

## Google calculator (3, Funny)

## Knx (743893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619133)

sqr(-1) [google.com]

e^(i.pi)+1 [google.com]

1+1 [google.com]

That is, if you're suspicious...

## Use the (HTML) source, Luke! (2, Informative)

## eric.t.f.bat (102290) | more than 9 years ago | (#10619135)

It's OK to use HTML on a website, you know. I suggest:

... which will work nicely in most browsers.