Poll: Which Circle Constant Makes More Sense?
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View poll results: Which Circle Constant Makes More Sense?
Pi
80 44%
Tau
57 32%
Don't know
43 24%
Voters: 180.
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#1
This is a new thread with a poll up. Apologies to people watching the old thread.

DISCLAIMER: This thread is for those interested in Pi. Yes, the mathematical constant, not the delicious foodstuff. If you have no interest in maths, then this probably isn't for you. You've been fairly warned.

"GET TO THE POINT, ASH, YOU BLITHERING SHITMUNCHING TURDGATHERER!"

OK, OK, here:

I just watched this video. It blew my goddamn mind. We're used to Pi being a fundamental and incredibly important ratio in mathematics, but this video presents an alternative take on it's suitability by examining it's definition.

From the start, I was skeptical. By the end, she had covered every point I came up with to oppose it, and had demonstrated how the "fundamental" nature of pi depends on it's definition which is...not so fundamental.

I'm converted: she's right, mathematics is about elegance, and this way makes more sense to me.

What do you think?

EDIT: Before you form an opinion, and especially if you think the opinion is just a confusing and unnecessary convention change, read this: www.tauday.com
Last edited by LordBishek at Apr 25, 2011,
#2
EDIT: holy shit what was I smoking when I first wrote this post, the grammar was atrocious.

I don't know about you, but pi makes much more sense to me since the vast majority of calculations are done below 180 degrees (at least for us mortals, dunno how it is in the engineering field), thus using Pi as 1 for a half circle is much more practical and people who say otherwise are the worst kind of people:

anal nerds.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Apr 25, 2011,
#3
Quote by CoreysMonster
I don't know about you, but pi makes much more sense to me since the vast majority of applications are done below 180 degrees, thus using Pi as 1 for a half circle is much more applying and people who say otherwise are the worst kind of people:

anal nerds.



You're an anal nerd

Tau makes more sense to me. It definitely goes along with the 'elegant idea'.

Is it 'Right' ? Possibly. Pi is taught for a reason, yet Tau definitely makes sense.

I guess just do whatever works best for you. Its what I always did in Calculus classes.
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Last edited by MH400 at Apr 25, 2011,
#4
Quote by CoreysMonster
I don't know about you, but pi makes much more sense to me since the vast majority of applications are done below 180 degrees, thus using Pi as 1 for a half circle is much more practical and people who say otherwise are the worst kind of people:

anal nerds.


Your mum's an anal nerd
#6
math is convoluted as shit, anything to make it simpler and more logical is good.

EDIT: Its worth noting that I don't care for math and don't know anything past basic trig, so I'm certainly not the best person to decide which is best, Pi or Tau.
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#7
Pi is fine, it's just a convention, what would be the point in changing it really? It's not hard to learn that one fact that pi radians is 180 degrees.
#8
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#10
I know pi to 50 decimal places..
Just thought I'd put that out there


And if you do A level maths, there are reasons why there are 2pi in a circle and therefore I stopped right there.
but I've forgotten why a long time ago.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
#11
I watched the whole thing, it was completely retarded.
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#12
Quote by Silent Murder
And if you do A level maths, there are reasons why there are 2pi in a circle and therefore I stopped right there.
but I've forgotten why a long time ago.

because any angle can be described in two ways, above and under (or exactly) 180 degrees, but you very, very rarely describe angles above 180 degrees, and thus making a circle be two times 180 degrees makes a lot more sense?
#13
Neither is wrong just two paths to the same end.
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#14
Pi works, upheaval of the system would be far too confusing when you have kids coming through who know how to work with Tau, and us old guard only work in Pi.

I can understand what the vid is saying, but it's basically the same thing with a different symbol.
#15
Quote by CoreysMonster
because any angle can be described in two ways, above and under (or exactly) 180 degrees, but you very, very rarely describe angles above 180 degrees, and thus making a circle be two times 180 degrees makes a lot more sense?


I see what you're saying, and this is why I prefer 2pi for the whole circle.
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#16
As others have said, there's rarely a need to work above 180 degrees in most walks of life. Therefore, as much as tau would simplify a few things, it would complicate most actual calculations.

Also, more important, tau is already in use.
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#17
from what I understand, tau is the ratio of circumference and the radius. Am I right? That makes it two times pi.
Last edited by dhruvrajvanshi at Apr 25, 2011,
#18
Quote by CoreysMonster
because any angle can be described in two ways, above and under (or exactly) 180 degrees, but you very, very rarely describe angles above 180 degrees, and thus making a circle be two times 180 degrees makes a lot more sense?


What? I use angles greater than 180 all the time in rotational mechanics. But alright, for the sake of argument, consider your range limited to 0-180 degrees. The main point of this is that tau would correlate exactly with the FRACTIONS of a circle.

A half of a circle is 180 degrees - tau/2

A quarter of a circle is 90 degrees - tau/4

An eighth of a circle is 45 degrees - tau/8

See how it conceptually relates the ratio to the physical portion of the circle? That's why it's important, even for angles under 180.

And that's not all, check this out if you want a more in-depth exploration of it's usefulness, and why it would be a much more intuitive and useful convention change.

www.tauday.com
#19
Quote by dhruvrajvanshi
from what I understand, tau is the ratio of circumference and the radius. Am I right? That makes it two times pi.

Well done!
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#22
Calling pi wrong is like saying that charge on electron should be positive. It is a convention and doesn't need to be changed.
#23
Why is learning a language so goddamn irritating and maths always logical?
Because a language has some grammar rules but about a googol of exceptions for those rules. And there are still every year a dozen or more alterations in the spelling of some words because we somehow feel to change the spelling of a word.

But if we keep math the way it is, and don`t change anything radical as using tau instead of pi we can also keep the 'elegance' of it can`t we?
#24
Quote by NakedInTheRain
Pi equals exactly three. Just saying.

Please explain this tomfoolery
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#25
But tau represent observed time in the theory of relativity.

t = (1 / sqrt(1-(v^2/c^2))) * tau
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Last edited by sfaune92 at Apr 25, 2011,
#26
I LOVE MATHS

Anyway, complying arguement. From what I understand, they aren't saying Pi is wrong, they have been explaining why Tau is a better convention. I actually want to read that book.
#27
Pi is not wrong... "tau" equals two pi. This is the most petty, boring argument about math I've seen yet.
#28
Quote by LordBishek
What? I use angles greater than 180 all the time in rotational mechanics. But alright, for the sake of argument, consider your range limited to 0-180 degrees. The main point of this is that tau would correlate exactly with the FRACTIONS of a circle.

A half of a circle is 180 degrees - tau/2

A quarter of a circle is 90 degrees - tau/4

An eighth of a circle is 45 degrees - tau/8

See how it conceptually relates the ratio to the physical portion of the circle? That's why it's important, even for angles under 180.

And that's not all, check this out if you want a more in-depth exploration of it's usefulness, and why it would be a much more intuitive and useful convention change.

www.tauday.com

That works great for that specific application, sure, but I would think that in most cases, you're not looking at a full circle, but rather an arc of 180 degrees or less, and using Pi is easier because it describes the portions of a half circle, which was definately what I encountered most in maths.

Then again, I'm thankfully not studying anything remotely related to math anymore so I really couldn't care less. (also I need to go make bacon and eggs now)



Last edited by CoreysMonster at Apr 25, 2011,
#29
Quote by MaXiMuse
Why is learning a language so goddamn irritating and maths always logical?
Because a language has some grammar rules but about a googol of exceptions for those rules. And there are still every year a dozen or more alterations in the spelling of some words because we somehow feel to change the spelling of a word.

But if we keep math the way it is, and don`t change anything radical as using tau instead of pi we can also keep the 'elegance' of it can`t we?


Right, but maths is logical because it uses rules. Mathematics is never ever defined by numbers, it is defined by conditions which then in turn define the numbers. If you're arguing for logic, this IS logical. Using diameter for convention makes little sense, and the video and link demonstrates how elegantly the new number works. It's not simply for the hell of it.

And to answer your last question, no, if you start defining maths by what's old rather than what makes sense, then that takes all the elegance out of it in the first place.

Quote by CoreysMonster
That works great for that specific application, sure, but I would think that in most cases, you're not looking at a full circle, but rather an arc of 180 degrees or less. Then again, I'm thankfully not studying anything remotely related to math anymore so I really couldn't care less. (also I need to go make bacon and eggs now)


Yep, but if you did still do maths, you'd probably use fractions of a circle, and there it definitely does make more sense.Enjoy your Bacon and Eggs.

Quote by CoreysMonster


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Last edited by LordBishek at Apr 25, 2011,
#30
Quote by Photograph
I LOVE MATHS

Anyway, complying arguement. From what I understand, they aren't saying Pi is wrong, they have been explaining why Tau is a better convention. I actually want to read that book.

Yeah, mathamphetamine is awesome.
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#31
eh, i'm going to go along with that the girl in that video just isnt good at math and needs an excuse to get on a soapbox about it
#32
Quote by Silent Murder
I know pi to 50 decimal places..
Just thought I'd put that out there



Same!



Also what Corey said about Pi being more useful because we deal mostly with angles under 180°. Though that video did make a lot of sense, it could work either way to be honest, and it's really not that much trouble to have to deal with 2π.

People should be looking to make more useful innovations in maths than this.
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#33
Quote by sfaune92
But tau represent observed time in the theory of relativity.

t = (1 / sqrt(1-(v^2/c^2))) * tau


Also shear stress. And Torque.

But then again, on the other hand, pi is used to denote conjugate momentum and parrallax
#35

Pi is exactly 3!
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#36
Oh god humanity is doomed
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#37
Quote by papershredder
Same!



Also what Corey said about Pi being more useful because we deal mostly with angles under 180°. Though that video did make a lot of sense, it could work either way to be honest, and it's really not that much trouble to have to deal with 2π.

People should be looking to make more useful innovations in maths than this.

As we develop and implement more and more complex math its insanely important that the basics are as simple and logical as possible. I understand most don't work with whole circles and switching from pi would be tough, but to me at least, tau is much more logical and working with the same portions of tau and the circle makes more sense to me. 1/4 Tau = 1/4 circle = 1/2 pi, doesn't make as much sense using pi.
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#38
wouldn't that complicate for instance the formula of surface area of a circle?
#39
Quote by vagelier
wouldn't that complicate for instance the formula of surface area of a circle?


No...and I'm unnaturally happy that you asked me that. Check out the second link I posted, it shows how that formula now conforms neatly with other similar ratios.

EDIT: Go to Section 3.
#40
As a physicist, I find Pi to be more useful. As mentioned before, angles tend to be calculated between + and - pi, which makes more sense than using tau equivalents.

Also, in majority of my calculations, we use hbar, which is h/2pi. Changing to Tau isn't exactly going to allow further advances in mathematics, it's just going to neaten some calculations a tiny bit. I say let the individual choose which, it makes no real difference to those in the know

just actually watched the video and her basic arguement is that it makes basic trigonometry easier. Maybe so, but the effect it has on a lot of other things is just making it a lot more complicated than just using 2*pi. its not exactly much harder, theres no real reason to rewrite mathematics to involve tau. That would be kind of like re-writing Shakespeare's work using text slang. Pointless, and just stupid
Last edited by l3vity at Apr 25, 2011,
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