Many mathematicians and those not mathematically oriented would consider Albert Einstein’s equation stating energy=mass equivalence to be singularly simple and beautiful. Indeed, e=mc2 is perhaps one of the few equations to have entered the general public consciousness. However, there are a number of other less well known mathematical constructs that convey this level of significance and fundamental beauty as well. Wired lists several to consider.
Even for those of us who finished high school algebra on a wing and a prayer, there’s something compelling about equations. The world’s complexities and uncertainties are distilled and set in orderly figures, with a handful of characters sufficing to capture the universe itself.
For your enjoyment, the Wired Science team has gathered nine of our favorite equations. Some represent the universe; others, the nature of life. One represents the limit of equations.
We do advise, however, against getting any of these equations tattooed on your body, much less branded. An equation t-shirt would do just fine.
The Beautiful Equation: Euler’s Identity
ei? + 1 = 0
Also called Euler’s relation, or the Euler equation of complex analysis, this bit of mathematics enjoys accolades across geeky disciplines.
Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler first wrote the equality, which links together geometry, algebra, and five of the most essential symbols in math — 0, 1, i, pi and e — that are essential tools in scientific work.
Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman was a huge fan and called it a “jewel” and a “remarkable” formula. Fans today refer to it as “the most beautiful equation.”