When you were in school you learned all about Pi and its relationship to circles and turn-based geometry. Some mathematicians are rallying for a new lesson, on about Tau.
Michael Hartl is a mathematician on a mission, a mission to get people away from using Pi and to start using Tau. His manifesto opens:
Welcome to The Tau Manifesto. This manifesto is dedicated to one of the most important numbers in mathematics, perhaps the most important: the circle constant relating the circumference of a circle to its linear dimension. For millennia, the circle has been considered the most perfect of shapes, and the circle constant captures the geometry of the circle in a single number. Of course, the traditional choice of circle constant is π—but, as mathematician Bob Palais notes in his delightful article “π Is Wrong!”,1 π is wrong. It’s time to set things right.
Why is Pi wrong? Among the arguments is that Tau is the ration of a circumference to the radius of a circle and defining circles by their radius is more natural and that Pi is a 2-factor number but with Tau everything is based of a single unit–three quarters of a turn around a Tau-defined circle is simply three quarters of a Tau radian.
Watch the video above to see the Tau sequence (which begins 6.2831853071…) turned into a musical composition. For more information about Tau hit up the link below to read the manifesto.
The Tau Manifesto [TauDay]
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 06/28/11