Talk:e (mathematical constant)

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Intuitive explanation[edit]

Since my edits have been overridden please see my take at it, in my user space at User:Pashute\E (mathematical constant) IMHO its a more intuitive explanation and more clear for the layman, and beginning student, whereas in the current way its written it is not immediately clear what the meaning of e is, and why it is important. In any case, the basis for my edit was of course the great work done till now. (I just added e to it). פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 12:53, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

The proposed edit completely disregards the manual of style recommendations set forth at WP:LEAD. The lead is supposed to define the topic of the article and to summarize the contents of the article, and thus provide a capsule version of the article. Moreover, the explanation involving plant stems offered in the edit seems to be completely wrong. At any rate, even if it could be corrected, such an explanation requires a source. Since the standard explanation of continuous growth in most sources is that of continuously compound interest, obviously this should carry more weight than a rather marginal explanation involving plant growth. WP:WEIGHT would decide the extent to which the latter even belongs in the article. Finally, the formulas
e = \sum_{n=1}^\infty \left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^n
e = (1+\frac{1}{1}) + (1+\frac{1}{2})^2 + \cdots+(1+\frac{1}{n})^n
added in the proposed revision are both obviously incorrect. Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:19, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Sławomir Biały's restoration. I'm afraid your changes have many serious problems, with layout, formatting and unusual language. This is a good article, and as such does not need radical overhaul, or have problems with clarity or meaning. --JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 13:31, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
A technical comment: while I’m a bit surprised that the system allowed you to do it in the first place, note that the page you created is a user page of a nonexistent user “Pashute\E (mathematical constant)”. A subpage of your own user page, which is apparently what you intended, would be User:Pashute/E (mathematical constant), with a normal slash. Please mind this in the future.—Emil J. 13:41, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
I've moved it to its proper location; there's now a redirect at User:Pashute\E (mathematical constant) which will hopefully be deleted.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 13:47, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for moving it. Nothing to do with plant stems. Everything to do with completely missing the point of e.
Here's what Kalid from had to say about the current type of explanation: (my emphasis)
"...What does it really mean? ... Math books and even my beloved Wikipedia describe e using obtuse jargon... Nice circular reference there... I’m not picking on Wikipedia — many math explanations are dry and formal in their quest for “rigor”. But this doesn’t help beginners trying to get a handle on a subject (and we were all a beginner at one point) ... Describing e as “a constant approximately 2.71828…” is like calling pi “an irrational number, approximately equal to 3.1415…”. Sure, it’s true, but you completely missed the point... Pi is the ratio between circumference and diameter shared by all circles. It is a fundamental ratio inherent in all circles ... e is the base rate of growth shared by all continually growing processes. e lets you take a simple growth rate (where all change happens at the end of the year) and find the impact of compound, continuous growth... e shows up whenever systems grow exponentially and continuously: population, radioactive decay, interest calculations."
WIKIPEDIA IS NOT A TEXTBOOK Antimatter33 (talk) 10:53, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
He concludes: (with his original emphasis)
"So e is not an obscure, seemingly random number. e represents the idea that all continually growing systems are scaled versions of a common rate.
And then goes on to explain what continual growth is. I think my explanation is clear and good. I'll add more sources to what I wrote. I also will add a better and more intuitive explanation about e in calculus and the natural logarithm. That is the other part. I'll put my edits currently Under Construction, and when done, will ask you, my fellow wikipedians to have your say. Thank you פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 11:53, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Whoever wrote that apparently didn't read the article past the first sentence. The definition involving the natural logarithm is not circular, as mentioned later in the first paragraph and in detail later in the article. The article does discuss the role of e in continuous growth, with a mention in the first paragraph, and in-depth treatment in the Applications section. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:28, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Bernoulli trials[edit]

The number e itself also has applications to probability theory, where it arises in a way not obviously related to exponential growth. Suppose that a gambler plays a slot machine that pays out with a probability of one in n and plays it n times. Then, for large n (such as a million) the probability that the gambler will lose every bet is (approximately) 1/e. For n = 20 it is already 1/2.

Why 1/2? It should be about 0.358486... Am I missing something?

LucaMoro (talk) 16:55, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Equality to Pi in the representing of the first dozens digits[edit]

Hello! In the entry of Pi in Wikipedia there is a representation of the first 100 (decimal) digits of Pi. When I tried to do the same for "e", and to enlarge its representation from 50 digits to 100, my edit was deleted due to "50 digits representation is too long already", in these words or similar words. And I want to ask - Is Pi more important or respected then e? Is its representation more important than of e? Is its accuracy more important in the real life, in science and in general perspective?

What is the law which determine 50 digits of e is too long but 100 digits of Pi is ok? Respectively yours,

Ram Zaltsman (talk) 09:11, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

First of all, the article pi also shows only 50 digits, as far as I can tell, and only a few in the actual lead of the article. In answer to the last question, as a general rule "too many" means enough to mess up line formats and navboxes on people with common browser configurations. The encyclopedia is meant to be read by human beings, so having massive numbers of digits is not really much of a consideration. Sławomir Biały (talk) 20:44, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

What a mess[edit]

It is hard to believe something as fundamental of the base of the natural logarithms could be so mangled in an article, both in presentation of content and equally as importantly, in prose style. The writing here is just horrible! There MUST be some way the editors of Wikipedia can at least have the fundamental articles held to higher standards. This is embarrassing for the entire project. Antimatter33 (talk) 10:57, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Hope you got that off your chest. Now that you've vented, if you have any actual specific actionable complaints, please do share. --Trovatore (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2014 (UTC)


I thought e was a vowel. Here you're saying it's a constant instead. (talk) 20:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

constant not consonant.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)