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Topic: Arbitrariness of pi
Replies: 7   Last Post: Mar 8, 2013 1:48 PM

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Ralf Bader

Posts: 438
Registered: 7/4/05
Re: Arbitrariness of pi
Posted: Mar 3, 2013 9:36 AM
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pepstein5@gmail.com wrote:


> I think that 2 * pi comes up quite a bit more in modern maths than pi, but
> that wasn't necessarily true at the time the pi notation originated. From
> the standpoint of the contemporary mathematician, it would make more sense
> to call pi = 6.28...
>
> Is this connected with transcendence? Not really, e is also
> transcendental. It's very important in mathematics to define notation and
> concepts to be as simple and transparent as possible. Defining pi as the
> number that we now call 2 * pi would be an improvement. But the
> improvement is not significant enough to overcome inertia -- there is
> value in sticking to historical precedents, too.
>
> Having to restate all pi-based formulate would be irritating too.


It can't be restated in books that are already printed. And probably pi
appears in (the source code of) a lot of computer programs used e.g. to
control devices. I think the world is in enough trouble already without
having to deal with the mess most probably following such a redefinition of
pi.


Ralf



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