We Must Get Rid of Pi
Michael Hartl is the author of The Tau Manifesto, which argues that, quite simply, pi is wrong. He's also a physicist who has previously both studied and taught at Harvard and Caltech.
Pi is perhaps the most beloved number in the world. People devote an entire day to celebrating it and enthusiasts memorize it to hundreds of thousands of places. But Michael Hartl says it's time to lose pi in favor of a new symbol: tau. Hartl is the author of The Tau Manifesto, which argues that, quite simply, pi is wrong. He's also a physicist who has previously both studied and taught at Harvard and Caltech. So what is tau? Well, simply enough, it's 2*pi, or 2π . Whereas pi is defined as the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter (C/D=π), tau is defined as the circumference divided by the radius (C/r=τ).
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.