Bye...... bye....... Math - e - mat - i - cal PI

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  1. Aficionada profile image83
    Aficionadaposted 7 years ago

    What do you think of the notion that some mathematicians have proposed abandoning the number Pi in favor of a new number Tau (= 2pi)?

    Don't drive your Chevy to the levee to answer this!

    1. Chaotic Chica profile image76
      Chaotic Chicaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I'm on the fence about this.  I don't see anything wrong with the way things have been but I suppose we would never move forward if we were opposed to change.
      Math was never my subject so I'm afraid I cannot comment more intellegently.

    2. mathsciguy profile image60
      mathsciguyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      So the idea is not about the value of pi, at all.  Rather, it's simply a matter of dethroning pi as a sort of holy grail number for mathematics.  Frankly, it won't make any difference whatsoever, and I think it's a little petty of Bob Palais to beg for publicity and notoriety in this way. 
      I think the layman's equivalent would be if an English professor decided to write an article about how Shakespeare shouldn't really be considered the classic example of mastery of the English language, but that it should actually be William Wordsworth instead.  It doesn't make any difference in how work gets done in that field; it's just a way to rock the boat and get some attention.

  2. Aficionada profile image83
    Aficionadaposted 7 years ago

    For actual details about this, see:
    Mathematicians Want to Say Goodbye to Pi

  3. Aficionada profile image83
    Aficionadaposted 7 years ago

    I'm on the fence too.  I read the comments to the article, and it looks to me like they would still have to calculate pi first before they can find tau.

    Commenters said that the younger students still should keep pi, but the older students and professional mathematicians could work with tau instead.  That seemed reasonable to me.

    1. maplethorpej profile image67
      maplethorpejposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. You have to know the basics first, and then move on to more advanced concepts.

  4. TLMinut profile image62
    TLMinutposted 7 years ago

    Two of my boys love Pi, having it dethroned will hurt their feelings. For real.

  5. Aficionada profile image83
    Aficionadaposted 7 years ago

    "Dethroning pi as a sort of holy grail number for mathematics"

    I think that says it exactly.  In fact, I was rather surprised to read that "tau" is actually merely 2xPi.  Palais was basically arguing that formulae in advanced math don't really use Pi, but do use 2Pi. 

    But in order to find Tau (2Pi), it's necessary to find Pi first.  sad   big_smile


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