Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pick a Number Between 1 and 10

Most people, when asked to pick a number between 1 and 10, pick an integer. Me, I prefer to pick numbers of mathematical significance. It just comes with the territory of being a math nerd.

If you want to be witty and impress your physics major friends, you can choose Pi (3.141...) or e (2.718...). But if you really want a number with distinction, you will choose the Golden Ratio ((1+ sqrt 5)/2, or approximately 1.618...) It is found all over nature, has a distinguished history among the ancient Greeks, and is an algebraic number (unlike Pi or e, which are both transcendental).