Mathematics: The History of Pi

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To start off, pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (Bennet, Burton, & Nelson, 2012). This is approximately equal to 3.14159. In equation form it is calculated like this: π = C/d (Shell, 2013). Pi is also an irrational and transcendental number. This means that it will continue infinitely without any repetition or pattern. It also cannot be expressed accurately as a fraction and the decimal never ends (Shell, 2013).
The history of pi is a very confusing one. No one knows exactly who discovered it; they just know assumptions and possible coincidences. Many believe that the Babylonians were the first to find pi (Shell, 2013). They calculated the circumference of a circle and then they took three times the square of its radius. This gave them the sum of the earliest idea of pi=3 (Shell, 2013). Most reports have said that it’s extremely hard to pinpoint the exact person who became conscious of the constant ratio between circumference and diameter but it is said that humans became aware of it around 2550 BC.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built between 2550 and 2500 BC with a perimeter of 1760 cubits and 280 cubits in height (Shell, 2013). This gives the ratio of 22/7, which is commonly used in estimating pi. Egyptologists believe that these proportions were chosen because of pi, but many other experts believe that it was completely accidental.
Archimedes has been credited as being the first to actually calculate an accurate estimate of pi by finding the areas of two polygons. Inside the polygons was an inscribed circle. An example is in the picture shown below (Shell, 2013):

Archimedes was born in 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily. Much like the history of pi, his life is very obscure. His friend, Heracleides, wr...

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