MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We know that for algebraic $e^{it\pi}$, $t$ can not be algebraic irrational by Baker's theorem, but his proof is analytic; is there some algebraic understanding for such fact? If $t$ is transcendent, can $t$ be a period? We say $t$ is period, iff $t$ can be expressed as the volume of domain in $R^{n} defined by polynomial inequalities with algebraic coefficients.

share|cite|improve this question
What do you mean by "can $t$ be [a] period?" – Noah Schweber Mar 11 '13 at 2:09
(I fixed some grammar/spelling; I hope you don't mind.) – Noah Schweber Mar 11 '13 at 2:09
Noah S: Presumably this means "Can t be an element of the Ring of Periods?" I think the question is clear as written. See . – Steven Landsburg Mar 11 '13 at 4:01
The number $\pi$, the exponential function, a period... are not objects from Algebra, but from Analysis. So an algebraic proof would require to extract from these beasts their relevant properties and use them in an algebraic manner. However, the conjectures about periods by Grothendieck and Kontsevich-Zagier give a motivic interpretation of Baker's theorem and of (almost) all conjectural statements in Transcendental Number Theory. – ACL Mar 11 '13 at 6:58

The heart of all transcendence proofs is the analytic fact that there is no integer between $0$ and $1$. This is one of the things I learned from Baker's book "Transcendental Number Theory".

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.