Talk:Mathematical constant

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Explanation of MRB constant changes

I see that someone posted the MRB Constant in the table. Per WP:AB, in clear-cut case, I corrected the year First Described and # of Known Digits. Marvin Ray Burns (talk) 23:47, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I corrected the documented first time described.Marvin Ray Burns (talk) 02:04, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I am trying to retrieve an earlier documented time.Marvin Ray Burns (talk) 15:34, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I made corrections for a few pressing issues in the table.Marvin Ray Burns (talk) 02:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Square root of 5: only "1,000,000" digits?

Since the Golden ratio is known to billions of digits (at least 17 billion per that article though this article suggests it's actually 100 billion), shouldn't the Square root of 5 also be known to the same billions of digits? After all:

Glenn L (talk) 19:50, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Rydberg constant

Why is the Rydberg constant on the side of a page titled Mathematical constant? --Dgroseth (talk) 00:56, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Good point. It was used as an illustration of notation, but it's not a well chosen example for this page - I have replaced it with Champernowne constant. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:50, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Mn/Me mass ratio in terms of Zeta(3) and the Golden ratio

Despite the simplicity of this approximation : if we refer to the NIST table the value of Mn/Me = 1838.6836605 and the error being 0.0000011. Now this approximation is approx. is way too far from the real value to be considered serious. The value is 36/((2+2*5^(1/2))^(1/2)-2*Zeta(3))^2 = 1838.691257454... so the error is : 0.007...

the error ratio is about 7000 times the standard error, please refer to the NIST 

document for explanations —Preceding unsigned comment added by Plouffe (talkcontribs) 23:59, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Is there any specific order for the table (beyond having the most known at top, obviously)? Magister Mathematicae (talk) 03:30, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Sierpiński's constant

I was checking some of constants vs Wolfram Alpha, for Sierpiński's constant, WA returns 0.822825249 ... whic is completely different than the article lists here, I have no insight into the discrepancy.--Billymac00 (talk) 02:54, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Mathworld con--Billymac00 (talk) 03:09, 18 April 2011 (UTC)firms Wikipedia ...

Add Negative One

I find it funny how the table of constants includes i, but it fails to include -1. -1 is more important than i, as it introduces negative numbers, the reciprocal, inverse functions and inverting in general, and its i squared. There is no reason why -1 shouldn't be in the table. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

tau alias 360 on a plane, would be nice to see too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

on a related note, the intro says that constants are "usually a real number", is that notable? Maybe a couple thousand years in the future there will be as many unreal numbers that are significant constants, but at the current state of our development of mathematical knowledge I don't think it is intro worthy to break up that sentence to say that most of them are real.

combined constants?

It would seem like there would be a section on combined constants for example e^pi or 2pi. John W. Nicholson (talk) 16:01, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Golden Ratio Nonsense

This article is suggesting that there is some universal law that makes the Golden Ratio some sort thing that all possible processes in universe tend toward as they strive for beauty. This is complete nonsense (my edits were reverted).Maneesh (talk) 17:32, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Adolf Zeising's claims do seem exaggerated. This would be irrelevant if there was clear evidence that his comments are eminently notable. Is there such evidence? Tkuvho (talk) 17:37, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
The article isn't suggesting anything - it is simply giving a NPOV and sourced statement of Zeising's writings. The role of Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio in phyllotaxis is well documented. The rest of Zeising's ideas may be difficult to believe, but remember our yardstick is verifiability, not truth. Gandalf61 (talk)
There is a long history of relating phyllotaxis to the Fibonacci sequence and to the golden ratio. This paper has a nice summary of a few of the historical approaches to the subject. I don't know that Zeising was the main or most famous proponent of this idea; there seem to have been quite a few people involved in this over the years. Among mainstream mathematicians, HSM Coxeter published a few papers:
  1. Coxeter, H. S. M. "The Golden Section and Phyllotaxis." Ch. 11 in Introduction to Geometry, 2nd ed. New York: Wiley, 1969.
  2. Coxeter, H. S. M. "The Role of Intermediate Convergents in Tait's Explanation for Phyllotaxis." J. Algebra 10, 167-175, 1972.
  3. Coxeter, H. S. M. "The Golden Section, Phyllotaxis, and Wythoff's Game." Scripta Mathematica 19, 135-143, 1953.
(refs courtesy of of the MathWorld page on phyllotaxis). Thus, whether you or I believe the assertions of the significance of the golden ratio in phyllotaxis is irrelevant--enough scientists and mathematicians have looked at this and published in reliable sources that we should report on it in the Golden section article, if not this article. --Mark viking (talk) 19:22, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
The article quotes Zeising (no doubt accurately) but doesn't suggest what the current consensus of his claims are (which is false). Nothing we know today suggests that the golden ratio has anything to do with human anatomy (let alone "all structures"): " all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form." Maneesh (talk) 21:08, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
In my view, the section in this article should only give a brief introduction to the golden ratio as a mathematical constant without giving any undue weight to Zeising or observations in nature in general. This can be developed in detail in the main article golden ratio. I'd suggest moving the paragraphs in question to Golden ratio#Applications and observations and to include some material from Golden ratio#Mathematics in its place. Isheden (talk) 11:54, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
This sounds like a good compromise to me. --Mark viking (talk) 14:45, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, I noticed that lowercase greek phi (φ) vs. uppercase greek phi (Φ) is not consistent in the section (compare source to what you are seeing when reading this talk doubt browser specific), and doesn't seem to render consistently from source page (I see a lowercase phi in source that is uppercase when rendered). I presume this is a well known issue with greek characters and wikipedia, is there a good way to fix this? The section doesn't mention that both forms are used.Maneesh (talk) 22:17, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Merge? Name change?

Is this article redundant with "List of numbers" and should be merged into it?

Also, if no on merger, on seeing the redundancy of the title with "Constant (mathematics)", I am wondering if there is a problem changing it to "Notable mathematical constants", "Important mathematical constants", or something else?

John W. Nicholson (talk) 08:14, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

In my view, the last two sections of this article should be merged with some table or list of mathematical constants; the rest of the article should be kept with the present name. The article Constant (mathematics) is clearly very basic and I think it should be merged with Variable (mathematics) to a new article Constants and variables. Any content from the old article constant term (presently redirects to constant (mathematics)) could be merged with polynomial or possibly algebraic expression. Isheden (talk) 13:37, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, for the two section which have the mathematical constants, I agree that they should be merged with List of numbers, but and that would lead to this page being hollow and not much of a reason for having an article here. As for the rest, you are going to have to have a better argument for merging Constant (mathematics) with Variable (mathematics) to make a new article Constants and variables. To me these are two different mathematics concepts which can hold there own in separate articles. At the same time, if you can make a page where you show that these two concepts can be merged and hold all of the related distinct concepts (like coefficient, parameter, or index), I would like to see it. But Constant (mathematics) and Variable (mathematics) should be where you work on that merger. --John W. Nicholson (talk) 16:21, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
List of numbers is a list of Wikipedia articles according to the lead, therefore the tables in this article would not fit naturally there. If there is no natural target at present I would leave the sections here for now. However, the article Constant (mathematics) is redundant in my view. Of course, constants and variables are different concepts, but they are naturally presented together since they complement each other. Have a look at Constant (mathematics) with Variable (mathematics) and you'll see that both of them describe variable vs. constant in the lead. It would be natural to describe them in one article just as Dependent and independent variables or Free variables and bound variables are described in one article, because a constant is defined in contrast to a variable and vice versa. I don't see any natural reason to merge other concepts such as parameter or index with that article. The rationale here is to avoid large overlap between articles, see WP:Merging. Isheden (talk) 18:46, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
By the way, have a look at algebraic expression for an article that contains various related concepts. That article could easily be expanded. Isheden (talk) 19:52, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

2, tau & j

Perhaps all "interesting numbers" should be included?

On a more serious note, number 2 deserves a place as really quite notable - the first (prime) multiple, cardinality of the smallest divided set, the basis of 'even' numbers, the base of binary representation, of duality, the exponent of area, Euler characteristic of any convex polyhedron, and so on. It's just that it seems to be there almost all the time.

A contributor above suggested the inclusion of Tau τ = 2π ; I'd agree. Tau seems to be sidelined on WP; Tau_(2π)#In_popular_culture is almost entirely about π (which has its own page Pi). To be fair, adoption of τ = 2π is something of a minority interest - perhaps consensus considers it to be irrational, but nevertheless it has minor notability.

If i is notable as square root of -1, then so is j = 1/2+i(3^-2)/2, the major complex cube root of 1, solution to x^3=1 {the other roots being 1, & 1/2-i(3^-2)/2}. Of use in engineering, I distantly recall.

Corrigenda: I see in the table, "# of known digits" for 0, 1, i are each shown as "N/A". One might be of the opinion that is incorrect. Also it is unclear to me what the order of that table is supposed to be - after re-sorting, I didn't manage to return to the pristine order except by re-loading. Could we know the rationale? And should imaginary constants be in another table, or come first?

One is one and one is one (talk) 15:09, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

fractal approximations to some famous constants

I have calculated the fractal approximations to most of the constants from this article and they can be found at this link Chrisdecorte (talk) 08:56, 18 January 2014 (UTC)