The Instigator
imscrappy
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
ApostateAbe
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Pi should be replaced with Tau.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
ApostateAbe
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/6/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,777 times Debate No: 17807
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (23)
Votes (5)

 

imscrappy

Pro

Welcome to another quick debate and I wish my opponent luck.
ApostateAbe

Con

I presume that "tau" is "2*pi" or 6.28... (http://math-blog.com...). The proposal is based on the point that it is confusing to some that one whole circle is twice pi radians and a quarter of a circle is half of pi.

However, the costs outweigh that benefit, because (1) the transition would last for decades (or even centuries), and it would greatly complicate mathematical language, i.e. no button on current scientific calculators for tau. Students and professionals either need to learn that the angle of a circle is 2*pi or they'd be confused and prone to human error by conflicting mathematical language. Mistakes beween pi and tau can sink ships and disintegrate space crafts (ie Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap).
Debate Round No. 1
imscrappy

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for engaging in this debate.

(1) pi – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is equal to 3.14159 ...
(2) tau – proposed to be the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius. It is equal to 6.28318 …

Circumference of a circle is currently defined as 2πr, whereas area of a circle is defined as πr�. Similarities of these formulas easily result in transposition of the numeral 2, providing vastly different, and potentially dangerous, results. The use of a separate symbol for circumference reduces the possible incidence of errors.

Scientific calc apps for Android™ and iPhone� are easily updated.(3)

(1) http://tinyurl.com...
(2) http://tauday.com...
(3) http://tinyurl.com...
ApostateAbe

Con

The formulae C=2πr and A=πr² are very seldom used in the same context, and experienced math practitioners do not get the two formulae transposed--r² obviously gives an area, and r with no exponent obviously gives only distance. The alterntive would be C=τr and A=(τr²)/2. A complicating fraction is introduced to the formula for A with translation from π to τ. But of course that wold be the least of the problems. Any time mathematical terms are translated, a potential for blunders is introduced, and the extra blunder vulnerability is roughly proportional to the number of mathematical steps [1].

[1] WL Oberkampf et al. "Verification, validation, and predictive capability in computational engineering and physics," Appl. Mech. Rev., Sept 2004.
Debate Round No. 2
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
Congratulations to ApostateAbe, I appreciate you taking the time to debate this topic with me.
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
Sorry, the symbols didn't paste correctly. Simply that was:

A=(pi)r(squared) and C=(tau)r
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
@wjmelements - My point was that pi can and should continue to be used in the formula for calculating area of a circle (A=πr2), but that tau should be used to calculate the circumference of a circle and (C=τr).
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
I think the major convenience comes from not having to multiply by two, because everything past geometry de-emphasizes the diameter in favor of the radius.
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
Gentlemen, thank you for the points and education, I will update my debate with the information you have suggested.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
None of the five definitions of tau cited is equal to 2*pi.
Posted by Gileandos 5 years ago
Gileandos
You need to update your debate with what you posted in commments so everyone is clear.
Posted by Gileandos 5 years ago
Gileandos
Great!
Posted by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
@Gileandos - I understand your concern, but have read through the guidelines on voting and am willing to vote based upon the critieria defined on DDO (i.e. I will not be votebombing).
Posted by Gileandos 5 years ago
Gileandos
Perhaps a thought, if you are new to debate you should not be voting.
There are several people on this site that dock points but do not know what is proper to give or take points away for.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
imscrappyApostateAbeTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
imscrappyApostateAbeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Silly debate, designed that way by Pro.
Vote Placed by VocMusTcrMaloy 5 years ago
VocMusTcrMaloy
imscrappyApostateAbeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments for keeping the status quo were much more persuasive. Pro, although he mentioned ease of adding button to calculators, did not rebut the idea that such a change would be so complicated it could result in tragic error. Because Pro did not organize the debate, he gave his opponent an extra round. If he had organized the debate making the first round acceptance only, and Con made arguments in that round, I could have awarded Pro the conduct point-as is, Pro hurt himself.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 5 years ago
Rockylightning
imscrappyApostateAbeTied
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Vote Placed by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
imscrappyApostateAbeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro demonstrated a harm from the present arrangement, although I wasn't convinced that the harm was significant (some examples would be good here). Con countered by saying the risk of error was too great, which could have devastating results (yay for examples). Because pro didn't demonstrate a massive impetus to change our symbols and con did show that there was significant potential for mistake, the motion falls. Neg win.