I did not know — until I read *Gamma* (page 168) — that there actually is a formula for generating th prime number by directly plugging in . The catch is that it’s a mess:

,

where the outer brackets represent the floor function.

This mathematical curiosity has no practical value, as determining the 10th prime number would require computing different terms!

When I researching for my series of posts on conditional convergence, especially examples related to the constant , the reference *Gamma: Exploring Euler’s Constant* by Julian Havil kept popping up. Finally, I decided to splurge for the book, expecting a decent popular account of this number. After all, I’m a professional mathematician, and I took a graduate level class in analytic number theory. In short, I don’t expect to learn a whole lot when reading a popular science book other than perhaps some new pedagogical insights.

Boy, was I wrong. As I turned every page, it seemed I hit a new factoid that I had not known before.

In this series, I’d like to compile some of my favorites — while giving the book a very high recommendation.

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*Posted by John Quintanilla on October 15, 2016*

https://meangreenmath.com/2016/10/15/what-i-learned-from-reading-gamma-exploring-eulers-constant-by-julian-havil-part-15/

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