The Irrational constant

which is very close to an Integer. Numbers such as the Ramanujan constant can be found using the theory of Modular Functions. A few rather spectacular examples are given by Ramanujan (1913-14), including the one above, and can be generated using some amazing properties of the

M. Gardner (Apr. 1975) played an April Fool's joke on the readers of *Scientific American* by claiming that this number
was exactly an Integer. He admitted the hoax a few months later (Gardner, July 1975).

**References**

Ball, W. W. R. and Coxeter, H. S. M. *Mathematical Recreations and Essays, 13th ed.* New York: Dover, p. 387, 1987.

Castellanos, D. ``The Ubiquitous Pi. Part I.'' *Math. Mag.* **61**, 67-98, 1988.

Gardner, M. ``Mathematical Games: Six Sensational Discoveries that Somehow or Another have Escaped Public Attention.''
*Sci. Amer.* **232**, 127-131, Apr. 1975.

Gardner, M. ``Mathematical Games: On Tessellating the Plane with Convex Polygons.''
*Sci. Amer.* **232**, 112-117, Jul. 1975.

Good, I. J. ``What is the Most Amazing Approximate Integer in the Universe?'' *Pi Mu Epsilon J.* **5**, 314-315, 1972.

Plouffe, S. `` , the Ramanujan Number.'' http://www.lacim.uqam.ca/piDATA/ramanujan.txt.

Ramanujan, S. ``Modular Equations and Approximations to .'' *Quart. J. Pure Appl. Math.* **45**, 350-372, 1913-1914.

Wolfram, S. *The Mathematica Book, 3rd ed.* New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 52, 1996.

© 1996-9

1999-05-25