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Spectacular Mountain

Mountain View

Leonhard Euler (1707-1783)

The greatest mathematician of the eighteenth century, Leonhard Euler was
born in Basel, Switzerland. There, he studied under another giant of
mathematics, Jean Bernoulli. In 1731 Euler became a professor of physics
and mathematics at St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Euler was the most
prolific mathematician of all time, publishing over 800 different books and
papers
. His influence was felt in physics and astronomy as well.

He is perhaps best known for his research into mathematical analysis. Euler’s
work, Introductio in analysin
infinitorum (1748), remained a standard textbook in the field for
well over a century. For the princess of Anhalt-Dessau he wrote
Lettres a une princesse d’Allemagne (1768-1772), giving a clear
non-technical outline of the main physical theories of the
time.

One can hardly write a mathematical equation without copying Euler.
Notations still in use today, such as e and pi, were introduced
in Euler’s writings. Leonhard Euler died in 1783, leaving behind
a legacy perhaps unmatched, and certainly unsurpassed, in the annals
of mathematics.

The Most Beautiful Theorem?

Euler’s Equation

cos(x) + isin(x) = e (ix)

demonstrates the relationship between algebra, complex analysis,
and trigonometry. From this equation, it’s easy to derive
the identity

e(pi i) + 1 = 0

which relates the fundamental constants: 0, 1, pi, e, and i in
a single beautiful and elegant statement. A poll of readers
conducted by The Mathematical Intelligencer magazine named
Euler’s Identity as the
most beautiful theorem in the history of mathematics.

Math High: A Site for Educators and Researchers