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# Pi should be replaced with Tau.

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ApostateAbe
 Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point Started: 8/6/2011 Category: Science Updated: 10 years ago Status: Post Voting Period Viewed: 5,275 times Debate No: 17807
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 Pro Welcome to another quick debate and I wish my opponent luck.Report this Argument 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).Report this Argument 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...Report this Argument 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.Report this Argument
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by imscrappy 10 years ago
Congratulations to ApostateAbe, I appreciate you taking the time to debate this topic with me.
Posted by imscrappy 10 years ago
Sorry, the symbols didn't paste correctly. Simply that was:

A=(pi)r(squared) and C=(tau)r
Posted by imscrappy 10 years ago
@wjmelements - My point was that pi can and should continue to be used in the formula for calculating area of a circle (A=&#960;r2), but that tau should be used to calculate the circumference of a circle and (C=&#964;r).
Posted by wjmelements 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
Gentlemen, thank you for the points and education, I will update my debate with the information you have suggested.
Posted by RoyLatham 10 years ago
None of the five definitions of tau cited is equal to 2*pi.
Posted by Gileandos 10 years ago
You need to update your debate with what you posted in commments so everyone is clear.
Posted by Gileandos 10 years ago
Great!
Posted by imscrappy 10 years ago
@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 10 years ago
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.