Simple Geometry, Deep Math - Comments

  • #26
Is there a proof that the perimeter of an ellipse cannot be written in terms of elementary functions or is it that nobody has found the solution and it is an open problem?
Great question! Unfortunately, I don't know the answer. Every reference I can find simply asserts that there is no elementary formula without giving any justification. If someone can comment with insight into this question, I would definitely be interested to hear it.
 
  • #27
Algebra's for Algebras? Mathematics and spelling. Forty five years ago I could have enjoyed this. Uncomputable real numbers sound like a number with for example, digits that are wilfully generated as the number is created thru a truncating function such that each new digit is never predictable and a pattern never quite repeats. Of course each attempt at that number would yield a different result defeating the purpose of a number in the first place; such a number would be more a creation of science fiction (say a bistromatic drive for a spacecraft in a Douglas Adams universe). But uncomputable numbers? I'll read more and go to the sidelines and let others do the math. I have not tackled calculus in over forty years and I once took such pleasure in it!
 

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