From E=MC² to 1+1=2: The World’s Most Influential Formulas

A few years ago, the British scientific journal “Physics World” asked readers to vote for the “greatest formula”.

The ten most famous formulas on the list included both the unknown 1 + 1 = 2 and the famous E = MC²;

There are both simple-circle formulas and complex Euler formulas …

These formulas are not only the crystallization of the wisdom of mathematicians and physicists, but also the concentrated expression of human civilization.

Each formula has profoundly affected the transformation of human society and even shaped human thought.

Some of these formulas will be familiar to you, and some of you may not be familiar with them.

As humans, we need to understand these formulas and understand the human thought process.

For electronics engineers, the Fourier transform and Maxwell’s equations should be understood and mastered most.

Today we collected these 10 famous formulas from the Internet and shared them with you:

No.10 The Length of the Circumference of a Circle

Founder: Ancients

Meaning: A mathematical expression of the beauty of nature.

This formula is awesome, we learned it from junior high school till now.

At present, humans have been able to obtain a pi rate of 206.1 billion digits. Still kind of boring.

A dozen pi values used in modern science and technology are enough.

If you use a 35-bit accuracy pi value to calculate the circumference of a circle that can wrap up the solar system, the error is less than one millionth of the proton diameter.

Most people now calculate pi for the purpose of verifying the computing power of a computer and for interest.

No.9 The Fourier Transform

Founder: Jean Baptis Joseph Fourier

Significance: Any irregular signal can be expressed as an infinite superposition of regular sine waves.

It is an important method in the field of digital signal processing.

The Fourier Transform

This is very professional, and most people don’t understand it at all.

In short, there is no computer today without this formula, so we should thank for this completely incomprehensible formula. In addition, although Fourier is surnamed Fu, he is French.

No. 8 The de Broglie Relations

Founder: Louis Victor De Broglie

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Louis Victor De Broglie

Significance: De Broglie believes that any substance is both particulate and volatile, or that any substance can also be regarded as a wave, including the person itself.

Man exists not only as a substance, but also as a wave in a sense.

This thing is also quite awesome.

Many concepts from high school physics to optics are its distant relatives.

In brief, DeBroglie thinks that electron is not only a particle, but also a wave, it also has a “wavelength”.

So we have this material wave equation, which expresses the relationship between wavelength, energy, and so on.

He also won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physics.

No.7 1+1=2

This formula requires no name, no translation, no explanation.

No.6 The Schr dinger Equation

Founder: Erwin Schrodinger

Significance: In quantum mechanics, the state of an object cannot be described by displacement, velocity, etc., as in classical mechanics, but only by a function of a physical quantity.

This physical quantity is no longer a certain value, but a probability distributed over time.

Every micro system has a corresponding Schrodinger equation.

The meaning of Schrodinger’s equation in quantum mechanics is the same as that of Newton’s second law in classical mechanics.

The Schr dinger Equation

It is also completely unknown to most people.

Therefore, I extract the official evaluation: “The Schrodinger equation is the most widely used and influential formula in the world’s atomic physics literature.”

For his outstanding contributions to quantum mechanics, Schrodinger won the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics.

In addition, Schrodinger is Austrian.

No. 5 Mass-energy Equivalence

Founder: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Significance: The mass-energy equation profoundly reveals the relationship between mass and energy.

Prior to this, there was no doubt that mass was mass and energy was energy, and there was no connection between the two.

It was the discovery of the mass-energy equation that led to the explosion of atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs.

What is more important in this equation is that it completely subverts the inherent thinking of mankind and promotes the progress of human civilization.

Mass-energy Equivalence

It seems that a formula in the scientific community has never had such a broad meaning.

In the “miracle year” of physics in 1905, it was proposed by a young man named Einstein.

In the same year he also published “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Objects”-commonly known as special theory of relativity.

This formula tells us that Einstein is superb and energy and mass are interchangeable.

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By-product: Atomic bomb.

No.4 Pythagorean Theorem

Founder: Pythagoras (Some think that the Pythagorean theorem also appeared in the Shang Dynasty in China and proved it)


Significance: The Pythagorean Theorem is a typical method for solving graphical problems with mathematical methods.

There are currently more than 400 forms of proof.

3:4:5 triangle is so deep into the heart of every earth person.

Pythagorean Theorem

No.3 Newton ’s Second Law of Motion

Founder: Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Significance: Newton’s second law is at the core of classical physics, and it applies to every aspect of our daily lives.

It marked the beginning of true physics research.

Without Newton, human civilization would spend much longer in the dark world.

Newton ’s Second Law of Motion

One of the greatest scientists of all time, the core law of one of the greatest scientific masterpieces of all time, “The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, is considered one of the greatest in classical physics.

All basic equations of power can be deduced from it by calculus.

No.2 Euler ’s Identity

Founder: Leonhard Euler

Leonhard Euler

Significance: Many formulas in mathematics were discovered by Euler, so Euler’s formula is not a single formula.

Euler’s formula is widely distributed in various branches of mathematics.

Charles Kleiber, Swiss Secretary of State for Education and Research, said: “Without the many scientific discoveries of Euler, we will live a completely different life today.”

French mathematician Laplace believes that: after reading Euler, he is the teacher of everyone.

Euler ’s Identity

Was this formula written by God?

In the last few, the creators are all gods.

Euler is the most prolific mathematician in history and the scholar with the most books in all fields (including all branches of mathematics and mechanics, optics, acoustics, water conservancy, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, etc.).

The history of mathematics calls the eighteenth century the “Euler Age”.

Euler was born in Switzerland. He lost vision in his right eye at the age of 31 and was blind at the age of 59. However, he is optimistic, has amazing memory and concentration.

He was humble all his life and rarely named after what he found.

However, one of the most important constants is named – e.

About e, there was a joke before:

In a mental hospital, a patient said to others all day, “I differentiate you, I differentiate you.”

I don’t know why, these patients have a simple concept of calculus. They thought that one day they would be differentiated to zero and disappear like ordinary polynomial functions.

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However, one day he met an unmoved person. He was surprised, and the person said to him lightly, “I am the x to the power of e.”

The cleverness of this formula is that it does not have any extra content.

It puts the most basic e, i, and pie in mathematics in the same formula, and also adds mathematics, which is the most important 0 and 1 in philosophy.

Connect with a simple plus sign.

Gauss once said: “The first time a person sees this formula without feeling its charm, he cannot become a mathematician.”

No.1 The Maxwell ’s Equations

Founder: James Clark Maxwell

James Clark Maxwell

Significance: Organically unifies electric and magnetic fields into a complete electromagnetic field. And created the electromagnetic field theory, and without electromagnetic theory, there would be no social civilization today.





Anyone who can understand these formulas will definitely feel that there is a cool wind behind them – if there is no God, how to explain such a perfect equation?

This set of formulas combines Gauss’s law of electricity, Gauss’s law of magnetics, Faraday’s law, and Ampere’s law.

A more modest evaluation is: “Generally, any electromagnetic phenomenon in the universe can be explained by this system of equations.”

Later, Maxwell predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves from this set of formulas only by pen and paper calculations.

Don’t we always like to write some stories, for example, when Einstein was a child, he embarked on the path of studying hard and serving the motherland because of a certain stimulus?

In fact, this stimulus is the system of equations you see.

It is precisely because this system of equations perfectly unifies the entire electromagnetic field, so Einstein always wanted to unify the gravitational field in the same way, and put both macro and micro forces in the same set of formulas: the famous “big Unified theory. ”

Einstein did not exit the tunnel until his death, and if he go out, we will see God himself at the other end of the tunnel.

Editor’s point of view: Einstein’s theory of relativity is based on the constant speed of light and is proved by geometric methods. And Maxwell’s equation contains exactly the principle of constant speed of light. Therefore, the cornerstone of Einstein’s theory of relativity is Maxwell’s equation!

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