Edited by Jangler, 14 March 2011 - 06:58 AM.
Happy π Day
Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:23 AM
Tau, technically, is just pi multiplied by 2, so about 6.28. But Michael Hartl, a physicist by training who's now an educational entrepreneur, considers this number a more elegant and appropriate circle constant than pi and thinks pi should be replaced by tau across the field of mathematics (with the proper factors of 2, of course).
He's not denying the historical importance of pi, but he thinks it's time to set the record straight.
"I want to hack geek culture. I want to add this new number to the world of computer and math geeks," he said.
So what's all this about? The idea of using twice-pi as the circle constant arose in a 2001 essay called "Pi is wrong!" by Bob Palais.
Hartl has expanded on those ideas and chose "tau" to represent this number. Palais has since written on his website that he's "pleased to lend my support" for tau. In fact, says Palais, twice-pi may have been treated as a single symbol as early as 1889 by French mathematician Paul Matthieu Hermann Laurent.
Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:36 PM
Posted 14 March 2011 - 03:30 PM
the pi symbol looks like an n in the thread title, and i thought this was gonna be racist. but pie is round so...
I was wondering what n day was too, so I didn't bother to check this thread until after I created a thread mentioning today was pi day.
Posted 14 March 2011 - 03:33 PM