Could someone with an early edition of Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, first published by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1993, please answer with Detritus' equation?
In the scene where Detritus the troll is in the Pork Futures Warehouse, two equations are mentioned. The second equation ends with an equal sign and may have something to do with HHGTTG. I am interested in the first equation. The passage (near the middle of the book):
That meant he'd become stupid again, as sure as
Better make the most of it, then.
In my book (HarperTorch, 2000 Jul, page 194 of 377) the equation is:
This does not appear to me to be a proper equation, I suspect that it has been corrupted.
I think I understand why the equation might get corrupted. Fiction publishers do not normally print advanced mathematical equations. This publisher may not have been aware there was an equation in the data file for the book. And no one checked to see that the equation was printing correctly.
I found an online book with an equation that is a bit different (page 161 of 318):
This equation looks to me like it may be proper, but I am not certain. A collegue pointed out that N should be added to both sides to simplify the equation -- probably also corrupt.
I can imagine Pratchett flipping thru an advanced maths text book and picking an equation that looked interesting. Or he may have asked a mathematician associate, "hey Frank, I need a complicated equation for a super-cooled troll in a new book ... no, that's too long, about half that length ... that'll do! Thanks." I have not stumbled across anything about this equation while searching the Internet, if anyone knows something about it, please let us know.
I'm hoping that the correct equation is in an early Victor Gollancz Ltd edition, assuming that Pratchett would have inspected and corrected the galley proofs prior to first printing. If someone has an early edition, please answer with an image of the equation, the publisher, year of printing, the page number of the equation, and the page number of the story end. Consider cropping the image to just the passage mentioned.
On the copyright page, if there is another publisher in addition to or instead of Victor Gollancz Ltd, then I suspect the equation might be corrupted. It might be interesting to see other corrupted versions of the equation, one wonders just how bad the equation can get. Please include the requested information.
Once I have the (hopefully) correct equation, I will ask elsewhere (math or physics SX?) to actually identify what the equation represents.
==== update 2020 Dec 13
Trying to identify the equation at Identify equation in "Men at Arms" by Pratchett.