**Previous message:**Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Character for e, 2.71828..."**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]**Mail actions:**[ respond to this message ] [ mail a new topic ]

Elliotte Rusty Harold also asked:

*> While hunting down the candidates I noticed that 0x2107, a Latin
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*> capital letter open E, is named the "EULER CONSTANT". However a quick
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*> Google search seems to indicate that the Euler constant is
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*> 0.577215... generated from a different series and is normally
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*> represented with a lower case gamma, not an e of any kind. Is this a
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*> mistake in the Unicode data?
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Well, conceivably the name is a misnomer. The source for this

character is XCCS 353/046 "Euler's". That Xerox standard didn't

say Euler's *what*, however. And the character committees just

added "CONSTANT" to it. If it represents an old, possibly German

usage for the particular constant more commonly known as

"Euler's Number", i.e., the base for natural logarithms, then

I can see why people might get confused between that and 'e'.

But this is another illustration of why encoding *constants* in

Unicode would be wrong -- as opposed to encoding characters which

may be used to represent constants.

You should have done a longer Google search.

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Euler-MascharoniConstant.html

"The Euler-Mascheroni constant is denoted <ital>gamma</ital> (or

sometimes <ital>C</ital> and has the numerical value..."

So here we have gamma or 'C' (both italic, of course, as is

usual for math) representing the Euler-Mascheroni constant.

And we have 'e' or italic e or double-struck italic e or a

probable old blackletter epsilon all representing Euler's Number.

(And I've also seen 'E', since 'e' may follow capitalization

rules when put in lists of constants.)

So Unicode just encodes a bunch of characters. And mathematical

and physical constants may get referred to by any number of

different characters, depending on typographical usage and

orthographical traditions. There is no close one-to-one

relationship here, nor should there be.

--Ken

**Previous message:**Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Character for e, 2.71828..."**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]**Mail actions:**[ respond to this message ] [ mail a new topic ]

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