Dear 100 Hour Board,

My question is in response to the recent question as to the superiority of Euler or Newton. It looks like the votes went 2-2 between Newton and Euler, which IMHO seems to vastly undersell Euler. I just have one correction to Pebbles’ answer: Euler did not show that the Konigsberg bridge problem was unsolvable, he solved the problem by proving that the task was impossible in what proved to be the first solution to any problem in the field of graph theory. Graph theory has now become a huge and very well-studied field, which I imagine would have fared differently if the field’s first problem was determined unsolvable.

And so now to up the ante a little, my question is, Euler or Mendeleev?

-- Captain of the Euler Fanclub

Dear Captain,

Pebble says that proving that something is impossible and proving something is unsolvable mean the same thing...he solved it by proving it couldn't be solved in the way that the problem suggested. In any case, he says the difference is just semantics and promises that he knows what you're saying and he didn't mean to mislead.

Regarding this new query, he says:

"We could compare any and all famous and significant physicists, chemists, and mathematicians and never get anywhere because it's comparing apples and oranges and pears. If you like math better, Euler is obviously more important to you. So for me, no matter who you suggest to compare, I'm always going to say Euler because I think his contributions are the most significant. Of course, someone in the BioChem major might have a different opinion, because Euler doesn't have as much of an impact on them as Mendeleev does.

Anyway, Mendeleev was a very cool and smart dude, and the work he did on the Periodic Table - even though a lot of it was more of an educated guess - was very impressive. But I still have to stick with Euler. Math is pure logic, and nearly all else in the world of science is based on the true principles that can be found in mathematics. In other words, apples are better than all the other fruits. They're the most basic and important of the fruits, as math is the most important of all the fields. Therefore, Euler is cooler than Mendeleev simply because of the truths he is finding. That's the beauty of math. Credit goes to Mendeleev where it's due, but I mean it. We'd be nowhere without Euler.

- Pebble"

There you go. Personally, I was impressed to learn about Mendeleev, but the more I hear about Euler, I'm pretty convinced he might actually be one of the coolest dudes that has ever lived.

Cheers,

Guesthouse

Dear person,

Mendel, easily. Those Punnett squares were pure gold.

-Sheebs

Dear you,

Still Euler.

~Anathema