0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

It's really pretty obvious.The ancients understood that the circumference of a circle is three times its diameter (realize that they only had bits of string to make the measurements, so they were not that far off.)

From "A History of Pi" by Petr Beckmann, a mathematician from Czechoslovakia. "In 1936, a tablet was excavated some 200 miles from Babylon. Here one should make the interjection that the Sumerians were first to make one of man's greatest inventions, namely, writing; through written communication, knowledge could be passed from one person to others, and from one generation to the next and future ones. They impressed their cuneiform (wedge-shaped) script on soft clay tablets with a stylus, and the tablets were then hardened in the sun. The mentioned tablet, whose translation was partially published only in 1950, is devoted to various geometrical figures, and states that the ratio of the perimeter of a regular hexagon to the circumference of the circumscribed circle equals a number which in modern notation is given by 57/60 + 36/(60^2) (the Babylonians used the sexagesimal system, i.e., their base was 60 rather than 10). The Babylonians knew, of course, that the perimeter of a hexagon is exactly equal to six times the radius of the circumscribed circle, in fact that was evidently the reason why they chose to divide the circle into 360 degrees (and we are still burdened with that figure to this day). The tablet, therefore, gives ... Pi = 25/8 = 3.125."