Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day Opinion

In my quest to learn more about pi today I came across this opinion that π is wrong, the number should be 2π. The guy makes many good and obviously educated points but in my opinion, is wrong. π is fine the way it is.


Well I'm glad you asked!

The reason is simple. π is fine the way it is because of the relationship between the diameter and circumference of a circle. A circle with a diameter of 1 has a circumference of π.

Why diameter and not radius? Because diameter is a lot easier to measure. It is as simple as that. I bet that 90% of the use of π is in the formula c=πd. Sure when you get into science and engineering 2π make more sense, but if anyone can handle multiplying π time two, it would be the people in those fields. Plus, if you look at 99.9% of the equations that 2π would simplify, the 2 is the least of the things making the equation complex.

My truck has tires that are 31 inches in diameter. How far does it go with one rotation? 31π inches. Simple.


Anonymous,  3/15/2009 4:23 PM  

Hey very cool post. I had no idea that some people thought about possibly re-defining PI as 2PI.

I think his article title would be more accurate if he said, "Pi is defined wrong!"....although not as catchy. Which is funny since one reason he's advocating a new (hypothetical) definition is because it's more intuitive, but his title, if stood alone, would maybe suggest an error in PI's numerical value.

I personally hate using diameter for anything, but I probably am in the minority. Almost everything circular is specified/described by diameter (as far as I know).

Anonymous,  3/15/2009 4:23 PM  

Oops, it's Alex.

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