|Diagram of the mathematics genealogy tree from the mathematics genealogy project, indicating that Swiss mathematician Johann Bernoulli and his doctoral students Daniel Bernoulli and Leonhard Euler and their factions (Joseph Lagrange, Pierre Laplace, Joseph Fourier, William Hamilton, Rudolf Clausius), is a dominant lineage of mathematics preliminaries of thermodynamics. |
The logarithm, and hence by implication the number ‘e’, was invented by Scottish mathematician John Napier as described in his 1614 book A Description of Logarithm Tables.  Napier’s logarithms were developed to their fuller potential by Leonhard Euler, Rene Descartes, and Jacob Bernoulli.
The following are related quotes:
“At first, he who invented any ‘art’ that went beyond the common perceptions of man, was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to its recreation, the inventors of the latter were always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because there branches of knowledge did not aim at utility. Hence, when all such inventions were already established, the sciences which do not aim at giving pleasure or at the necessities of life, were discovered, and first in the places where men first began to have leisure. This is why the ‘mathematical’ arts were founded in Egypt; for there the priestly caste was allowed to be at leisure.”— Aristotle (c.350), Metaphysics (pg. 1553) 
“Science is written in the language of mathematics and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.”— Galileo Galilei (1623) 
● Mathematical introduction
● Mathematical thermodynamics
1. (a) Mathematics Tree (home) - Mathematics Genealogy Project.
(b) Harry Coonce – Wikipedia.
2. Maor, Eli. (1994). e: the Story of a Number. Princeton University Press.
3. Hsieh, Ching-Yao, and Ye, Meng-Hua. (1991). Economics, Philosophy, and Physics (pg. 119). M.E. Sharpe.
4. Aristotle. (322BC). The Complete Works of Aristotle, Volume Two (editor: Jonathan Barnes) (§: Metaphysics, pgs. 1552-; quote, pg. 1553). Princeton, 1995.
● Mathematics – Wikipedia.