Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula (2006) by Paul Nahin isn't so much a book as it is a pamphlet full of fascinating trivia and deep truths — but it's a pamphlet padded out with reams of step-by-step derivations that really belong on scratch paper. The "Fabulous Formula" of the title, of course, is:

e + 1 = 0

... the basis of Fourier analysis and a host of other useful, important, beautiful mathematics. Electrical engineer Nahin clearly enjoys it all, and conveys his excitement well — at intervals between pages of boring turn-the-crank algebraic manipulation. If this "book" could have existed without the filler material it would have been a real gem. Perhaps the economics of publishing makes that impossible.

TopicLiterature - TopicScience - 2007-04-08

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