The Most Beautiful Equations

Published by patrick honner on

beautiful equationsThis is a nice comment-thread and poll on Quora responding to the question “What is the most beautiful equation?”

No surprise to see Euler’s Identity on top with a whopping 350 votes.

There are fun entries all throughout thread, and I definitely learned a few things through perusing.   And I guess I can forgive the participants for including some inequalities on the list.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


Tao Wang · February 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I would define beauty in mathematics and science as 1) short, 2) easy to understand, 3) describes an idea that is non-obvious. Euler’s identity certainly fits #1 and #3 but not #2. In my opinion, the most beautiful equation is F=ma.

MrHonner · February 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Shouldn’t “Truth” also be a requirement?

    Tao Wang · February 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    ahem, “describes a ‘true’ idea that is non-obvious”

      MrHonner · February 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      I think “F = ma” fails to meet the truth requirement.

James T · February 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I would consider V-E+F=2

Troy Singletary · February 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Personally I think the Dirac equation should be at/near the top. It predicted antimatter before it was experimentally discovered!

da hua · February 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I think it’s e^ipi = -1 (Euler’s identity).

Juejun Xiao · February 16, 2011 at 1:20 am

I like the equation
1+3 = B

Juejun Xiao · February 16, 2011 at 1:28 am

whats the Limit, as i approaching to u, of the function (i + me),
The limit is u and me.
Don’t throw rocks at me.

Michael Harper · July 8, 2012 at 1:36 am

hands down. (∆x)(m)(∆v)=h/2

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