ARCHIMEDES:The discoverer of pie
Archimedes (approximately 285---212 B.C.) was the most famous ancient Greek mathematician and inventor. He invented the Screw of Archimedes, a device to lift water, and played a major role in the defense of Syracuse against a Roman Siege, inventing many war machines that were so effective that they long delayed the final sacking of the city.
Archimedes' mathematical work exhibits great boldness and originality in thought, as well as extreme rigor. Among his mathematical accomplishments is the computation of pi, which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. His approach consisted of inscribing and circumscribing regular polygons with ...view middle of the document...
This symbol was adopted by Euler in 1737 and became the standard symbol for pi.
Long and interesting history story of!
That the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is constant (namely, pi) has been recognized for as long as we have written records.
A ratio of 3:1 appears in the following biblical verse:
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it about. (I Kings 7, 23; II Chronicles 4, 2.)
The ancient Babylonians generally calculated the area of a circle by taking 3 times the square of its radius (=3), but one Old Babylonian tablet (from ca. 1900-1680 BCE) indicates a value of 3.125 for pi.
Ancient Egyptians calculated the area of a circle by the following formula (where d is the diameter of the circle):
This yields an approximate value of 3.1605 for pi.
The first theoretical calculation of a value of pi was that of Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BCE), one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the ancient world. Archimedes worked out that 223/71 < < 22/7. Archimedes's results rested upon approximating the area of a circle based on the area of a regular polygon inscribed within the circle and the area of a regular polygon within which the circle was circumscribed.
Beginning with a hexagon, he worked all the way up to a ploygon with 96 sides!. Archimedes's method for
approximating the value of pi