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The 17 equations that changed the world

Link here.

I sometimes think that the reason Einstein’s equation, E=MC (squared), is so memorable is that in English the sound of the equation, when spoken, has a poetic rhythm to it.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • wayne

    Very interesting list!
    –pleased to know I am somewhat familiar with all of them, except the Shannon’s Information Theory equation.

    Referencing the Black–Scholes pricing equation— tying it to modern day financial “derivatives” is technically correct, but it is more accurately “famous” for determining the value of Options, which decay in price to zero, as they approach their exercise date.
    [“option,” the right but not the obligation, to purchase or sell something at a future date]
    –Also credited with being a fundamental concept underlying what morphed into “portfolio insurance.” [key aspect of which is there has to be sufficient numbers of people on the opposite end of any trade, or the “insurance” fails during high & sustained volatility.]

  • Nick P


    Black-Scholes determines the theoretical ‘premium value’ of the option, not the total value which may include intrinsic value as well.

  • wayne

    Nick P:
    Thanks, it’s been a long time since I had any finance-classes!

    tangent– what’s the equation tying together energy, frequency & wavelength? (if I’m asking that anywhere nearly correctly.)
    You can substitute that into the “e” of e=mc(squared). (That’s about as ‘deep’ with the Maths that I can handle! Always impressed with people that can handle this sort of symbolic logic, Physics or Finance—“fascinating.”)

  • Cotour

    I think that someone is formulating a new 18th equation that applies to politics and economics.

    (CH) Divided by (T) X’s [Balls / Leverage Constant] = EE (Economic Equilibrium)

    Although not yet president someone is already negotiating with China, and they are paying attention.

  • Phill O

    Too bad biologists have never learned the second law of thermo-

  • wayne

    Phill O:

    “The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the Universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
    -Arthur Eddington

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