Happy ? Day!

Ponder this most coveted ratio:  The circumference of a circle/Diameter.

Yes, nearly everyone knows about ? and today is Pi day, so it is a good time to wonder…

I wondered how the early mathematicians worked it out so I did a bit of research.

I originally thought they may have first had to accurately measure a circle’s circumference then divide (pretty naive approach).  Then thought what if the circle’s circumference was a whole number – still the problem of accurately measuring down to the smallest distinct values would be problematic. 

Smarter people have attempted to work out ? for over 4000 years.  The short article here was interesting, but doesn’t even come close to the pondering what must have taken place throughout the centuries.  Until this morning, I never gave the origin of the Euler number a second thought (most scientific calculators have a key for it – e).  Good on you Leonhard Euler for giving us something to help solve complex function problems.

So – today take a moment and wonder.  Wonder what might be different about our modern world without an understanding of ?.

One thought on “Happy ? Day!

  1. Back when great programming magazines actually existed there was one author in one of the C language magazines who wrote a long series about something or other. The one thing I remember about it was the most useless piece of information. They didn’t need to know Pi in ancient Egypt. There was some large area polished perfectly flat by slaves and when the engineers wanted to work out a math problem they worked it out full scale on this big flat area. They drew what was known they length it was known then they drew the rest and physically measured.

    Great magazines of the 1980s used to always bury interesting little nuggets of information in somewhat unrelated articles. Perhaps that’s why I write the way I write?

Leave a Reply