Natural Exponential

We learnt that the simplest exponential functions are of the form $y=a^x$ where $a>0$, $a \ne 1$.
We can see that for all positive values of the base $a$, the graph is always positive, that is $a^x > 0$ for all $a>0$.
There are an infinite number of possible choices for the base number.

However, where exponential data is examined in engineering, science and finance, the base $e = 2.7183 \cdots$ is commonly used.

$e$ is a special number in mathematics. It is irrational like $\pi$, and just as $\pi$ is the ratio of a circle's cirfumference to its dimeter, $e$ also has a physical meaning.

$\textit{Definition of e}$ $$e = \lim_{n \rightarrow \infty}\Big(1+\dfrac{1}{n}\Big)^n$$ \begin{array}{|c|c|} \hline n & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{n}\Big)^n \\ \hline 1 & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{1}\Big)^1 = 2 \\ \hline 10 & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{10}\Big)^{10} = 2.5937 \cdots \\ \hline 100 & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{100}\Big)^{100} = 2.7048 \cdots \\ \hline 1000 & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{1000}\Big)^{1000} = 2.7169 \cdots \\ \hline 10000 & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{10000}\Big)^{10000} = 2.7181 \cdots \\ \hline 1000 \cdots 0 & \Big(1+\dfrac{1}{1000 \cdots 0}\Big)^{1000 \cdots 0} = 2.7183 \cdots \\ \hline \end{array} or $$ \begin{align} \displaystyle e &= \sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\dfrac{1}{n!} \\ &= \dfrac{1}{0!} + \dfrac{1}{1!} + \dfrac{1}{2!} + \dfrac{1}{3!} + \cdots \\ &= \dfrac{1}{1} + \dfrac{1}{1} + \dfrac{1}{1 \times 2} + \dfrac{1}{1 \times 2 \times 3} + \cdots \\ \end{align} $$

Example 1

Find $e^3$ to 3 significant figures.

Example 2

Find $e^{0.32}$ to 3 significant figures.

Example 3

Find $\sqrt{e}$ to 3 significant figures.

Example 4

Find $e^{-2}$ to 3 significant figures.

Example 5

Write $\sqrt{e}$ as powers of $e$.

Example 6

Write $\dfrac{1}{e^2}$ as powers of $e$.

Example 7

Expand $(e^x + 2)^2$.

Example 8

Solve $e^x = \sqrt{e}$ for $x$.