Monday, 15 August 2011

π versus τ

Dump π, says maths circle pushing for the teaching of τ. According to Kevin Houston, of the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, ‘The proper number is 2π or τ’. According to the article,
A shift to τ, Dr Houston added, would make A-level maths considerably easier, and help to make mathematical concepts such as calculus more intelligible to many more people.
What complete and utter nonsense! Various combinations of π appear in many formulas (such as the surface area and volume of the sphere), and other expressions, such as Γ(1/2) would become more complicated. Replacing one constant by an integer multiple of itself will make no significant difference—and I am certain that such a change would not have any impact on making A-level maths easier. Indeed it would likely make things more confusing!

I hope that this was an April Fool's day joke by Houston.

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