PhiDate: 05/18/97 at 22:12:09 From: Roz Subject: phi What is phi? I heard it's kind of like pi. Date: 05/18/97 at 22:54:13 From: Doctor Mike Subject: Re: phi Hello Roz, Phi is one of the 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. Sometimes it is pronounced like the first part of the English word "fine," and sometimes like the English word "fee." Use of the Greek alphabet is popular in writings about math, probably since some of the early great mathematicians, like Euclid and Pythagoras, were Greeks who lived between two and three thousand years ago. Greek letters are used as names for college fraternities and sororities. They are also used as names of some professional organizations, like Kappa Sigma for the legal profession. Also, an organization for college students who get excellent grades is called Phi Beta Kappa. The Greek letter pi is often used to represent the ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter: Pi = 3.14159 http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.pi.html while the Greek letter phi is often used to represent another famous ratio: Golden Ratio, Fibonacci Sequence http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.golden.ratio.html I hope this helps. -Doctor Mike, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
Search the Dr. Math Library: |
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
Ask Dr. Math^{TM}
© 1994-2015 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/