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Topic: [HM] Grienberger approximation of $\pi$
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Henrik Kragh Sorensen

Posts: 1
Registered: 5/10/06
[HM] Grienberger approximation of $\pi$
Posted: May 8, 2006 12:20 PM
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Dear List,

Just before Easter, a mathematician colleague of mine approached me with
a "strange" (difficult) question that was of some importance for precise
reference in his ongoing research. In 1630, the Jesuit Christoph
Grienberger is widely reported to have computed the decimal expansion of
$\pi$ using a refined version of the method of Snell. Grienberger?s
result may have been published in his Elementa trigonometrica that
appeared in that year. The first question raised concerned the precision
of Grienberger?s expansion ­ sources vary in reporting either 38 or 39
correct decimal places. The second question concerned the details of
Grienberger?s argument; in particular, how many details were provided in
the publication. However, as we have no (current) access to the source,
I venture to ask list members who may access the source or know more
about it to help me answer these two questions.

Best wishes from (now sunny) Aarhus, Denmark,

Henrik Kragh Sørensen

Henrik Kragh Sørensen, PhD
Steno Institute - Aarhus

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