For question involving exponential functions and questions on exponential growth or decay.

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61
votes
7answers
3k views

What's so “natural” about the base of natural logarithms?

There are so many available bases. Why is the strange number $e$ preferred over all else? Of course one could integrate $\frac{1}x$ and see this. But is there more to the story?
56
votes
12answers
41k views

Do factorials really grow faster than exponential functions?

Having trouble understanding this. Is there anyway to prove it?
50
votes
21answers
4k views

Simplest or nicest proof that $1+x \le e^x$

The elementary but very useful inequality that $1+x \le e^x$ for all real $x$ has a number of different proofs, some of which can be found online. But is there a particularly slick, intuitive or ...
49
votes
9answers
4k views

Comparing $\pi^{e}$ and $e^{\pi}$

How can I calculate without calculator or something like this the values of $\pi^{e}$ and $e^{\pi}$ in order to compare them ?
43
votes
4answers
2k views

If $e^A$ and $e^B$ commute, do $A$ and $B$ commute?

It is known that if two matrices $A,B \in M_n(\mathbb{C})$ commute, then $e^A$ and $e^B$ commute. Is the converse true? If $e^A$ and $e^B$ commute, do $A$ and $B$ commute? Edit: Addionally, what ...
43
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is it hard to prove whether $\pi+e$ is an irrational number?

From this list I came to know that it is hard to conclude $\pi+e$ is an irrational? Can somebody discuss with reference "Why this is hard ?" Is it still an open problem ? If yes it will be helpful ...
39
votes
3answers
515 views

Is $\lfloor n!/e\rfloor$ always even for $n\in\mathbb N$?

I checked several thousand natural numbers and observed that $\lfloor n!/e\rfloor$ seems to always be an even number. Is it indeed true for all $n\in\mathbb N$? How can we prove it? Are there any ...
35
votes
2answers
1k views

Proving that $e^{\pi}-{\pi}^e\lt 1$ without using a calculator

Prove that $e^{\pi}-{\pi}^e\lt 1$ without using a calculator. I did in the following way. Are there other ways? Proof : Let $f(x)=e\pi\frac{\ln x}{x}$. Then, ...
35
votes
0answers
621 views

Mirror algorithm for computing $\pi$ and $e$ - does it hint on some connection between them?

Benoit Cloitre offered two 'mirror sequences', which allow to compute $\pi$ and $e$ in similar ways: $$u_{n+2}=u_{n+1}+\frac{u_n}{n}$$ $$v_{n+2}=\frac{v_{n+1}}{n}+v_{n}$$ $$u_1=v_1=0$$ ...
32
votes
3answers
1k views

Limit with a big exponentiation tower

Find the value of the following limit: $$\huge\lim_{x\to\infty}e^{e^{e^{\biggl(x\,+\,e^{-\left(a+x+e^{\Large x}+e^{\Large e^x}\right)}\biggr)}}}-e^{e^{e^{x}}}$$ (original image) I don't ...
29
votes
3answers
947 views

How can I prove $\pi=e^{3/2}\prod_{n=2}^{\infty}e\left(1-\frac{1}{n^2}\right)^{n^2}$?

I am interested about some infinite product representations of $\pi$ and $e$ like this. Last week I found this formula on internet ...
28
votes
7answers
3k views

Why does $e$ have multiple definitions?

The number $e$ seems to have multiple definitions: $$\lim \limits_{n \to \infty} \left(1 + \frac{1}{n}\right)^n$$ The unique number $a$ such that $\int_1^a\frac{1}{x} \, dx = 1$ The unique number ...
26
votes
3answers
871 views

If there are entire $G_k$s such that $f=\exp\circ\exp\circ\cdots \circ\exp\circ G_k$ ($k$ times), must $f$ be constant?

I am a French guest and I hope that my English isn't too bad... So here is my issue: I consider an entire function $f$ which satisfies the following property for each complex number $z\in ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

Is $\exp(x)$ the same as $e^x$?

For homework I have to find the derivative of $\text {exp}(6x^5+4x^3)$ but I am not sure if this is equivalent to $e^{6x^5+4x^3}$ If there is a difference, what do I do to calculate the derivative of ...
22
votes
13answers
2k views

Intuitive proofs that $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty}\left(1+\frac xn\right)^n=e^x$

At this link someone asked how to prove rigorously that $$ \lim_{n\to\infty}\left(1+\frac xn\right)^n = e^x. $$ What good intuitive arguments exist for this statement? Later ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is $e^\pi - \pi$ so close to $20$?

$e^\pi-\pi\approx 19.99909998$ Why is this so close to $20$?
22
votes
1answer
549 views

Peculiar locations of the root and the maximum of $(x+1)^{x+1}-x^{x+2}$

Related to some other problems, I got interested in this function: $$(x+1)^{x+1}-x^{x+2}$$ Its root is very close to $\pi$. This is Mathematica code that finds the root: ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Prove $|e^{i\theta} -1| \leq |\theta|$

Could you help me to prove $$ |e^{i\theta} -1| \leq |\theta| $$ I am studying the proof of differentiability of Fourier Series, and my book used this lemma. How does it work?
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Which of the following powers is bigger: $2^{41}$ or $3^{24}$?

Calculate the maximum between the given numbers $$ \max(2^{41},3^{24})\text{.}$$ I got stuck when I tried to decompose the exponent as $41$ is a prime number.
21
votes
4answers
4k views

“What if” math joke: the derivative of $\ln(x)^e$

Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd in his latest book What if writes (p. 175) that the mathematical analog of the phrase "knock me over with a feather" is seeing the expression $ \ln( x )^{e}$. And ...
21
votes
3answers
431 views

How to prove $ \lim_{n \to \infty} e^n \cdot \left( \sum_{k=0}^{n-1} ({k-n \over e})^k/k! \right)- 2 \cdot n = \frac 23$?

I observed for the function $$ f(n)= e^n \sum_{k=0}^{n-1}\left(\dfrac{k - n}{e}\right)^k \cdot \dfrac{1}{k!} \tag 1$$ with small $n$ that ...
21
votes
1answer
378 views

A closed form for $\int_0^\infty\left(\frac{2^{-x}-3^{-x}}x\right)^adx,\ a\notin\mathbb{Z}^+$

Let $$I(a)=\int_0^\infty\left(\frac{2^{-x}-3^{-x}}x\right)^adx.$$ $I(a)$ has closed form representations for all $a\in\mathbb{Z}^+$. Is there any algebraic (or at least period) ...
21
votes
1answer
983 views

Solving $x^k+(x+1)^k+(x+2)^k+\cdots+(x+k-1)^k=(x+k)^k$ for $k\in\mathbb N$

Letting $k$ be a natural number, can we solve the following $k$-th degree equation ? $$x^k+(x+1)^k+(x+2)^k+\cdots+(x+k-1)^k=(x+k)^k \tag{$\star$}.$$ The following two are famous: $$3^2+4^2=5^2, ...
20
votes
18answers
2k views

How to understand why $x^0 = 1$, where $x$ is any real number?

Alright, so the idea of an exponent, $x$, is that you are multiplying its base by itself $x$ number of times. With base $5$ and $x=3$, we have that $5^3$ = $5 \cdot 5 \cdot 5$ I understand that the ...
20
votes
9answers
1k views

Finding the limit of $\left(\frac{n}{n+1}\right)^n$

Find the limit of: $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\left(\frac{n}{n+1}\right)^n$$ I'm pretty sure it goes to zero since $(n+1)^n > n^n$ but when I input large numbers it goes to $0.36$. Also, when ...
20
votes
3answers
435 views

What combinatorial quantity the tetration of two natural numbers represents?

Tetration is a generalization of exponentiation in arithmetic and a part of a series of other generalized notions, Hyperoperators. Consider $m\uparrow n$ denotes the tetration of $m$ and $n$. i.e. ...
19
votes
10answers
2k views

Why isn't $\lim \limits_{x\to\infty}\left(1+\frac{1}{x}\right)^{x}$ equal to $1$?

Given $\lim \limits_{x\to\infty}(1+\frac{1}{x})^{x}$, why can't you reduce it to $\lim \limits_{x\to\infty}(1+0)^{x}$, making the result "$1$"? Obviously, it's wrong, as the true value is $e$. Is it ...
18
votes
6answers
7k views

A question comparing $\pi^e$ to $e^\pi$ [duplicate]

I was doing an algebra problem set following a chapter on logarithms and exponentiation, and it presented this "bonus question": Without using your calculator, determine which is larger: $e^\pi$ ...
18
votes
4answers
356 views

Find the smallest k such that $n^k > \sum_{i=0}^{n-1} i^k$

Let $n \in \mathbb{N}$. Is it possible to find the smallest $k \in \mathbb{N}$ such that $$n^k > \sum_{i=1}^{n-1} i^k \ ?$$ It's easy to prove that such $k$ exist because: $$n^k > 1^k + 2^k ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Integral of matrix exponential

Let $A$ be an $n \times n$ matrix. Then the solution of the initial value problem \begin{align*} \dot{x}(t) = A x(t), \quad x(0) = x_0 \end{align*} is given by $x(t) = \mathrm{e}^{At} x_0$. I am ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Can you raise $\pi$ to a real power to make it rational?

We're all familair with this beautiful proof whether or not an irrational number to an irrational power can be rational. It goes something like this: Take $(\sqrt{2})^{\sqrt{2}}$ If it's rational, ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Prove that e is irrational

Prove that e is an irrational number. Recall that e $=\displaystyle\sum_{n=0}^\infty\frac{1}{n!},\,\,$ and assume $\mathrm{e}$ is rational. Then $$\sum\limits_{k=0}^\infty \frac{1}{k!} = ...
16
votes
6answers
453 views

Prove that $e>2$ geometrically.

Q: Prove that $e>2$ geometrically. Attempt: I only know one formal definition of $e$ that is $\lim_\limits{n\to\infty} (1+\frac{1}{n})^n=e$. I could somehow understand that this is somehow related ...
16
votes
3answers
744 views

Is there a simple proof that $e^2$ is irrational using a positional numeral system?

My favorite proof that $e$ is irrational goes something like this. Observe that we can write any real number $r$ as $$ a \,+\, \frac{b_2}{2} \,+\, \frac{b_3}{3!} \,+\, \frac{b_4}{4!} \,+\, ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is Euler's number used as a base for logarithms? [duplicate]

Is there some special property of '$e$' which makes it suitable to be used as a base for logarithms? Moreover, does the natural logarithm possess some advantage over the common logarithm? I don't ...
15
votes
3answers
351 views

Find $x$ from $3^x\cdot x^3 = 1$

I saw a question on internet, tried to solve but I can't: \begin{equation} 3^x\cdot x^3 = 1 \end{equation} I get $\ln$ function and made some equalization and I reached that: \begin{equation} ...
15
votes
4answers
502 views

Euler's identity: why is the $e$ in $e^{ix}$? What if it were some other constant like $2^{ix}$?

$e^{ix}$ describes a unit circle in polar coordinates on the complex plane, where x is the angle (in radians) counterclockwise of the positive real axis. My intuition behind this is that ...
15
votes
2answers
410 views

Is there a (deep) relationship between these various applications of the exponential function?

Here is a list of some applications of the exponential function. 1) The exponential mapping in Lie theory. I put this first because my intuition tells me that this must be the most fundamental, or ...
15
votes
1answer
646 views

Integrate this monster

Can you please help me? I've been trying for some time now to integrate this: $$\int_0^\infty g^{-(a+1)} \; \exp\left\{-\left(\frac{b}{g} + \frac{1}{2} \sum_{i=1}^{n} ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is this question too easy or am I getting it wrong?

In my homework, I am asked to find the limit $$\lim\limits_{x\to0}{\frac{x}{e^x}}$$ But obviously, you could just substitute $x = 0$: $$\lim\limits_{x\to0}{\frac{x}{e^x}} = ...
14
votes
5answers
220 views

How to show $\frac{19}{7}<e$

How can I show $\dfrac{19}{7}<e$ without using a calculator and without knowing any digits of $e$? Using a calculator, it is easy to see that $\frac{19}{7}=2.7142857...$ and $e=2.71828...$ ...
14
votes
2answers
995 views

Show that $e^{x+y}=e^xe^y$ using $e^x=\lim_{n\to\infty }\left(1+\frac{x}{n}\right)^n$.

I was looking for a proof of $e^{x+y}=e^xe^y$ using the fact that $$e^x=\lim_{n\to\infty }\left(1+\frac{x}{n}\right)^n.$$ So I have that ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Proving the inequality $e^{-2x}\leq 1-x$

How do I prove the inequality $e^{-2x}\leq1-x$ for $0\leq x\leq1/2$?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Function that looks a lot like exponential, but isn't

I'm looking for a continuous function f(x) with the following properties. I've been playing with exponentials, but that doesn't seem to be the answer, although my high school mathematics is a bit ...
13
votes
6answers
505 views

$\pi$ from the unit circle, $\sqrt 2$ from the unit square but what about $e$? [duplicate]

If one wants to introduce $\pi$ to a not mathematically savvy person, the unit circle would be a good choice. The unit square would be the way to go for $\sqrt 2$. But what about $e$? I've reviewed ...
13
votes
4answers
820 views

Proving the irrationality of $e^n$

Let $n$ be a positive integer. I know the traditional proof that $e$ is irrational. How do we show that $e^n$ is irrational in some sort of similar line? I am of course assuming it is but I would be ...
13
votes
2answers
258 views

Conjectural closed form for $\int_0^\infty\sqrt[3]z\ \operatorname{Ei}^2(-z)\,dz$

While trying to answer the question "A closed form for $\displaystyle\int_0^1\frac{\ln(-\ln x)\ \operatorname{li}^2x}{x}dx$", I came up with a conjecture: $$\int_0^\infty\sqrt[3]z\ ...
13
votes
3answers
140 views

How to express $f(n\alpha)$ in terms of $f(\alpha)$

Original question: Let $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ be a function defined by $f(x)=\dfrac{a^x-a^{-x}}{2}$, where $a>0$ and $a\ne 1$, and $\alpha$ be a real number such that $f(\alpha)=1$. Find ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Approximation of $e$ using $\pi$ and $\phi$?

$$e \approx \frac{4 \phi +3 \pi-5}{4}$$ where $~\phi~$ is a Golden ratio . Is it possible to construct better approximation of $e$ using $\pi$ , $\phi$ and integers ?
12
votes
9answers
13k views

Solve $e^x+x=1$

This seems to have stumped even my TA, so I'm asking it here. Given $e^x + x = 1$, solve for $x$. I already know that the answer is zero, but have no idea how to get there.