The Reason for the Mathematical FormulasPublished October 31, 2018
My central argument for nuclear propulsion in the book is grounded upon mathematics. More broadly, the entire pro-nuclear argument for meeting our earthly power needs generally also pivots upon the centrality of mathematics. In the book I systematically lay out why Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s famous rocket equation is central to our project of moving both humans and heavy equipment to the remotest regions of our solar system in a fashion that is at once safe, reliable, and routine.
Equally important is the sheer beauty of mathematics. The secrets of the universe can only be comprehended through the language of mathematics. With that thought, I share with you what I regard as the most beautiful formula in all of mathematics. Leonard Euler’s famous relation may be expressed in words as e (the base of the natural logarithms) raised to the power of i (the square root of negative one) times pi (the ratio of the radius of a circle to its circumference) then added to the integer one equals zero. The first time I beheld this relation in high school I was stunned.