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‘Pi’ to be replaced with ‘tau’?

The humble 'pi' may have had its day. Mathematicians are campaigning for the most important number in the world to be replaced with alternate value 'tau'.

The humble “pi” may have had its day. Mathematicians are campaigning for the most important number in the world to be replaced with alternate value “tau”.

They are claiming that the number — the constant which references the circumference of a circle to its diameter — is wrong and it should be replaced with tau,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The mathematicians have said that while 3.14159265,the number’s value,is not incorrect,it is the wrong figure to be associated with the properties of a circle as a matter of course. Tau has a value twice that of pi of 6.28.

“For all these years,we have been looking at the wrong number when we have been looking at pi. Pi simply isn’t the most natural number that we should associate with a circle. The proper number is 2pi,or tau,” Kevin Houston at the University of Leeds told ‘The Times’ newspaper.

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The number has long been seen as being essential to many mathematical formulae as well as being vital to equations in science and engineering.

It is used when calculating the circumference of a circle by multiplying the diameter by the value of pi,while its area can be deduced by multiplying pi by the square of its radius.

First published on: 28-06-2011 at 16:37 IST
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