An Intuitive Guide To Exponential Functions & e
e has always bothered me — not the letter, but the mathematical constant. What does it really mean? The mathematical constant e is the base of the natural logarithm. And when you look up natural logarithm you get: The natural logarithm, formerly known as the hyperbolic logarithm, is the logarithm to the base e, where e is an irrational constant approximately equal to 2.718281828459. Nice circular reference there. I’m not picking on Wikipedia — many math explanations are dry and formal in their quest for rigor. No more! e is NOT Just a Number Describing e as “a constant approximately 2.71828…” is like calling pi “an irrational number, approximately equal to 3.1415…”. Pi is the ratio between circumference and diameter shared by all circles. e shows up whenever systems grow exponentially and continuously: population, radioactive decay, interest calculations, and more. Understanding Exponential Growth Let start by looking at a basic system that doubles after an amount of time. A Closer Look Mr.