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An Earthly Approximation of Pi: A geeky math and science teacher sets out to make an approximation of Pi on Pi Day.
Posted by Douglas, Mar 14, 2010. 2674 views. ID = 3324

An Earthly Approximation of Pi

Posted by Douglas, Mar 14, 2010. 2674 views. ID = 3324
This post was written in 13 minutes.
This post has been awarded 20 stars by 4 readers.

It occurred to me last evening that if one happens to know the length of a one degree arc of the equator of planet earth, as well as the angular speed of planet earth...

Yes, I know, the obvious question is, Who in their right mind would keep that sort of information rattling around off the top of their head? And the answer is, Me.

Can I continue now? Please?


Thank you. As I was saying, if you know the length of a one degree arc of the equator (L), the angular speed of earth (S), the number of hours in a day (T), and the radius of the earth (R), you can come up with a very reasonable approximation for the number PI as follows:

PI = LST/2R.

I tried out this magnificent formula last night:

PI = 69.1709 x 15 x 24 / 7928 = 3.14175, which is mighty close to the actual value.

I woke up this morning and tried it again, in honor of Pi Day.

PI = 69.1709 x 15 x 23 / 7928 = 3.011.


What? That can't be right!

Which leads us, of course, to the inevitable conclusion that Pi Day should never be allowed to coincide with Daylight Savings Day.


Copyright 2010 Douglas. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
 


   
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This post has been awarded 20 stars by 4 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: It's Pi Day!
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Comments


Mathax
Mar 14, 2010
Ok this is great

   ~Posted by Mathax, Mar 14, 2010



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