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Finding Pi


Date: 2/8/96 at 10:34:32
From: Anonymous
Subject: geometry

Why is pi 3.14?


Date: 3/26/96 at 21:13:34
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: geometry

Actually, pi isn't 3.14. :)

Pi is a really cool number, because (as far as we know) it NEVER ENDS 
and its digits NEVER REPEAT in any pattern.  Mathematicians have used 
computers to calculate 2 BILLION decimal places, and pi (not unlike the 
energizer bunny) keeps going, and going, and...

But without a pattern.

Where did pi come from?  Well, the Greeks asked a great question (they 
were wonderful at posing questions, and solved a lot of them, too):

Find a square equal in area to some circle.

To see their dilemma, trace a circle onto a piece of graph paper.  Can 
you count the number of squares within the circle?

How else might you try to determine the area of the circle?

(Hint: one thing to try is to find a method for determining the area of 
a polygon, like a pentagon or octagon, and see if you can apply the 
same method to the circle.)

-Doctor Jodi,  The Math Forum

    
Associated Topics:
Middle School Pi

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