Saturday, July 30, 2011

Archimedes’ π

Archimedes had observed an intriguing relationship between a circle’s circumference and its radius: it was constant! He’d publish the finding immediately, but he had to come up with a term. He couldn’t think . . . Mrs. Archimedes kept banging around next door. “Would you please,” he said, barging into the kitchen. “I’ve just discovered—”
     “You old coot! You’re not the only one gets ideas around here!” There was flour on Mrs. Archimedes’ chin and perspiration on her forehead. She held up a circular dish topped with pastry. “I wrapped dough around apples and baked them at 360.  I’m naming it ‘pie’.”

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