I'm surprised no one point out the issue of when you are using + to represent addition, t to represent time and τ to represent 2π. Writing a formula that involves addition and time is already confusing enough, adding tau to the list would make cause unnecessary confusion that's why π is such a good character because there are no English letters that can be confused with it.
Well that and 1/2τ^2 is more confusing that 2πr
If tau is 2pi, then why should it replace pi? Don't we need to have 1 before we have 2?
That's silly. How do you find the diameter? You can't just find the distance between two arbitrary points. You have to find the center of the circle. The next step is to find the distance between the center and the edge (the radius). Then you double it to get the diameter.
In all my years in math and physics (and I am a physicist), I really cannot recall a time I've ever dealt with a diameter instead of a radius; not in analytical calculations, not in defining geometries for simulations, not in proofs for math theorems, ..
Oh, actually, the machinists prefer to use the diameter, as it is more practical spec for external measurements of cylinders and so forth, so I do use it in schematics.
Anyway...
You draw an enclosing square around the circle, and measure the width of the square. That simple.
You glossed over that one didn't you ... do you realise that to find the centre of the circle - you need two bisecting diameters?You have to find the center of the circle.
SO you have never used pi in any of your calculations (C/D) ... ? What branch of physics are you intoI really cannot recall a time I've ever dealt with a diameter instead of a radius;
I'll grant you those examples. Now here's one: how do you make a circle? Let's nail a piece of string to a board and tie a pencil to the end, and draw a circle by extending the pencil as far as it can go. The length of the string is the radius of the circle.
It's ridiculous to say that D is more fundamental than R when the difference is a constant factor of 2. To say one is more "fundamental" kind of misuses the meaning. Any single parameter is fine, and the rest is just convention. Regardless, this is an argument over semantics...
I never said I didn't use pi. (???) I just said we don't use the diameter.
We are talking about math teachers/students here right? I've had professors that can 8s look like Bs and 6s look like Gs, hell I had a teacher for would always write lower case delta as a symbol that looks exactly like d.
Besides that's what I meant, as a poor man's X (yes I know X usually means any given where as n is used as every given). In most mathematics levels where such confusion would be prevalent people use n to replace X and pi doesn't touch those formulas, where as collision between + t and tau would be fairly common at many levels.
Last edited by godofslack; 2012-11-11 at 12:47 AM.
And as you know we define fundamental constants based upon observation, we don't define them on human activities.
I can tell you now - nature doesn't use a nail and a string to make a circle.
No it isn't , by definition pi is C/D (because both C and D are the raw measurables), there fore any derived quantity from pi is not a fundamental constant. D is measurable without presuming knowledge of pi or r first. R is not - it requires derivation from D and is thus not suitable for basing a fundamental constant on.It's ridiculous to say that D is more fundamental than R when the difference is a constant factor of 2.
Actually - in pure maths and pure physics, the concept of fundamental is pretty well - fundamentalRegardless, this is an argument over semantics...
Thus the smiley at the end of that line...I never said I didn't use pi. (???)
Last edited by schwarzkopf; 2012-11-11 at 12:44 AM.
I guess so, but I am talking from personal experience with the t + thing, if you are writing a t without the tail it's virtually indistinguishable and adding tau to it makes it even worse, if you forget the top part of t it looks a lot like tau . I've seen some butchered pi's in my math life, but they usually just replace the upper section of a n with a ~.
Honestly, I believe the debate is quite pointless, we're discussing about one value being the double of the other.
Tau is 360°, and Pi is 180° so what? What's so hard and counter-intuitive about that?
On defence of Pi and it's teaching I want to point out that it is a number kids learn to associate with circumferences way before trigonometry, while calculating the area enclosed in a circle.
I kind of wrinkle my nose at the idea because they picked a very commonly used variable like tau. I'm a little biased, I'm working on a program of measuring lifetimes of radioactive nuclei, and tau is the standard variable used for expressing the lifetime. But throughout the literature, tau gets some serious usage. It's like the letter "e" in the english alphabet. Or at least in the top 6 of the Wheel of Fortune "RSTLNE."
The problem is that "pi" is an extremely important physical constant throughout math and physics. It's not something you can just change. You really do see it everywhere, it's completely ingrained into the science conscious. Changing it would mean a complete social and economic disaster. I'm talking ATMS spewing fire, planes blowing up mid-flight, the NFL going to a BCS system. Total chaos.