Way back when I was in high school, while most students went out and played after lunch, I sat in a classroom and did math problems with the Math Team. Yes, geek I was, and still am.
Even then, I was gearing up for a life in academia (I now work at Clatsop Community College). Here, for the first time, I am reprinting the beginnings of a major paper that could have gone on to shake the very foundations of mathematics, science and engineering. If anyone wants to take this ball and run with it, have fun!
The Fundamental Constant, Root (√), and Its Application To Engineering Mathematics
We report the incredible new discovery of a constant that may revolutionize the engineering field and be of interest also to mathematicians for its fascinating properties. In the continuing search for ways of making life easier, we came across an idea almost lost in the annals of scientific literature.
Attempting to solve a recreational math problem submitted to us (on the side) by Bishop et al (1) [editor’s note: Bishop was our Math Team coach], we eventually gave up and returned the letter and simply wrote “πr√”as the answer. This, of course, was nonsense by itself. But (the best word in the English language), not ones to ignore anything, we looked at this ridiculous expression, and after many hours and Visine, we came up with the obvious answer to all the world’s problems – the fundamental constant, √. This number has a most peculiar property – when squared, it goes away. Immediately, ideas flowed through our minds as to the possible applications for this incredible number. At first, we found none. But, not ones to give up easily, we explored the literature, and eventually found that a number with the abovementioned property would be invaluable in engineering mathematics (as well as other fields such as relativity, baseball and twiddling thumbs).
Here we describe an example of Root’s utility: in the solving of a heretofore unsolvable differential equation. Other applications will be presented in subsequent papers.
That’s it. I guess I never took it any further. This is a theme in my life. Well, starting around now, I’m going to endeavor to finish up some things. With the world’s help.
If you can think of a differential equation that could be solved using the fundamental constant root, please tell the world in the comments. And any other math problem, or problem in general, that could benefit from our amazing number, please let the world (and me) know. Happy thinking!