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Thread: Do you know any useful mathematical constants that I can program into my calculator?

  1. #1
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    Grin Do you know any useful mathematical constants that I can program into my calculator?

    One thing that I have always liked a lot about scientific calculators is that they often allow you to program values into letters - which is very useful for various annoying mathematical constants etc, plus it tends to conserve a lot of space - and I was wondering if you know of anything nice that you would suggest that I should plug into my calculator?
    This is what I have got so far, expressed in SI units:

    C = 3e+8 --- (speed of light)
    E = 1.602e-19 --- (magnitude of a proton/electron charge)
    F = 0.3048 --- (foot/meter converter)
    G = 6.674e-11 --- (gravitational constant)
    H = 6.626e-34 --- (Planck's constant)
    I = 0.0254 --- (inch/meter converter)
    J = 1e-12 --- (sound intensity for 0 dB)
    M = 5.97e+24 --- (mass of Earth)
    N = 6.022e+23 --- (Avogadro's constant)
    O = 6.371e+6 --- (radius of Earth)
    R = 3.29e+15 --- (Rydberg's constant)

    Do you know of anything else that's cool to have, or anything that I should replace with something else?
    In that case, do post your suggestions, and I shall be grateful indeed.
    Last edited by Peter1986; 07-28-2016 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    That's an oddly specific question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freya View Post
    That's an oddly specific question.
    Well I guess so, however I have generally tried my best to use the same letters as those that are used in mathematics, so that hopefully makes everything easier.

    Basically, if someone knows of a useful constant that I don't seem to have then I would love to hear about that one.

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    pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter
    e is the base of the natural logarithm

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    The King's Shield The Summoner of Leviathan's Avatar
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    What kind of math are you doing, that's really it. I mean I see a lot of stuff related to chemistry/quantum mechanics.

    Mass of an electron, proton, and neutron.

    Or there is just this: Wikipedia - Table of Physical Constants


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    Do you mean physical constants as they are given in SI units or mathematical constants?

    There's relatively few useful mathematical constants that aren't pure numbers, and the two most important ones (pi and e) are programmed into your calculator. The golden ratio is sometimes used, and the only other irrational number I see somewhat regularly are the zeros of the cylindrical bessel functions of the first kind--which is indicative of how rarely these are used in the first place.

    As for physical constants? Really depends on what are you're studying more than anything. Physical constants are distinct in that they're unit-system dependent: speed of light is about 300 billion meters per second in SI, but 0.1 AU/minute. There's only two pure numerical physical constants I know of: Avogadro's Number and fine structure constant. If you're honestly using the fine structure constant, remembering it's about 1/137 is the least of your problems. Past that, I'd try to remain practical. If using SI units, you will remember the speed of light is about 3e8 meters per second, for example. I don't know the mass of electron or proton off the top of my head, however. You'll probably forget stupid constants like the Stefan-Boltzmann constant. But be aware what units you're likely to encounter, since that does change the numerical value.

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    Honestly, I find that a lot of mathematical constants are pre-programmed in to most calculators, especially the ones which are complex enough for you to program in your own functions. I have a little Casio non-graphing calculator, but it still has something like 40 constants programmed in (with a legend showing which key combo is for which constant on the cover). Check your manual, or see if there's a "Constants" function, and you might find all that you need, and more.

    If not, I'll pull mine out and give you all that it contains.

  8. #8

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    I... I can make it do this:

    Boobiescalculator-1.jpg

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