Transcendence of e and π

  • Arthur Jones
  • Kenneth R. Pearson
  • Sidney A. Morris
Part of the Universitext book series (UTX)


The main purpose of this chapter is to prove that the number π is transcendental, thereby completing the proof of the impossibility of squaring the circle (Problem III of the Introduction). We first give the proof that e is a transcendental number, which is somewhat easier. This is of considerable interest in its own right, and its proof introduces many of the ideas which will be used in the proof for π. With the aid of some more algebra — the theory of symmetric polynomials — we can then modify the proof for e to give the proof for π.


Prime Number Rational Number Symmetric Function Rational Coefficient Fundamental Theorem 
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Additional Reading for Chapter 7

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    J. Archbold, Algebra, 4th edition, Pitman, London, 1970.Google Scholar
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    A. Clark, Elements of Abstract Algebra, Wadsworth, Belmont, California, 1971.Google Scholar
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    W.L. Ferrar, Higher Algebra, Clarendon, Oxford, 1958.Google Scholar
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    A. Hurwitz, “Beweis der Transcendenz der Zahl e”, Mathematische Annalen, 43 (1893), 220–222.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    G.H. Hardy, A Course of Pure Mathematics, 10th edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1952.MATHGoogle Scholar
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    G.H. Hardy and E.M. Wright, An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers, 3rd edition, Clarendon, Oxford, 1954.MATHGoogle Scholar
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    F. Klein, Elementary Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint, (vol 1: Arithmetic, Algebra and Analysis), Dover, New York, 1948.Google Scholar
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    F. Klein, Famous Problems of Elementary Geometry; reprinted in Famous Problems and Other Monographs, Chelsea, 1962.Google Scholar
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    I. Niven, Irrational Numbers, Carus Mathematical Monographs, No.11, Mathematical Association of America, 1963.Google Scholar
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    M. Spivak, Calculus, Benjamin, New York, 1967.MATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Jones
    • 1
  • Kenneth R. Pearson
    • 1
  • Sidney A. Morris
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of InformaticsUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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