Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Pi is wrong" - Mathematicians wanna say gudbye to Pi...!

That's the opening line of a watershed essay written in 2001 by mathematician Bob Palais of the University of Utah. In "Pi is Wrong!" Palais argued that, for thousands of years, humans have been focusing their attention and adulation on the wrong mathematical constant.

Two times pi, not pi itself, is the truly sacred number of the circle, Palais contended. We should be celebrating and symbolizing the value that is equal to approximately 6.28 — the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius — and not to the 3.14'ish ratio of its circumference to its diameter (a largely irrelevant property in geometry).

Last year, Palais' followers gave the new constant, 2pi, a name: tau. Since then, the tau movement has steadily grown, with its members hoping to replace pi as it appears in textbooks and calculators with tau, the true idol of math. Yesterday — 6/28 — they even celebrated Tau Day in math events worldwide.

Is pi really "wrong"? And if it is, why is tau better?

The mathematicians aren't saying that pi has been wrongly calculated. It s value is still approximately 3.14, as it always was. Rather they argue t hat  3.14 isn't the value that matters most when it comes to circles. Palais originally argued that pi should be changed to equal (approximately) 6.28 while others prefer giving that number a new name altogether.

Kevin Houston, a mathematician at the University of Leeds in the U.K. who has made a YouTube video to explain all the advantages of tau over pi, said the most compelling argument for tau is that it is a much more natural number to use in the fields of math involving circles, like geometry, trigonometry and even advanced calculus.

"When measuring angles, mathematicians don't use degrees, they use radians," Houston enthusiastically told Life's Little Mysteries. "There are 2pi radians in a circle. This means one quarter of a circle corresponds to half of pi. That is, one quarter corresponds to a half. That's crazy. Similarly, three quarters of a circle is three halves of pi. Three quarters corresponds to three halves!"

Use of tau

 "One quarter of a circle is one quarter of tau. One quarter corresponds to one quarter! Isn't that sensible and easy to remember? Similarly, three quarters of a circle is three quarters of tau." Making tau equal to the full angular turn through a circle, he said, is "so easy and would prevent math, physics and engineering students from making silly errors."

Tau Day is on Tuesday June 28th!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Google to launch New Social Networking site - Google Plus...!

Google Plus (or Google+) debuted last night to a limited, invite-only audience. It's available today for the Android crowd, and should be coming to Apple's App Store soon

Here's the run down on what you can expect when the service finally opens up:

    Circles - The feature lets you group friends into "Circles," so you can control what you tell each cluster. This is Google's way to let Google+ users share info selectively, so that every post is not "a public performance."
    Hangouts - Facebook Chat got you IMing your pals in real time, but Google+ takes this one step further, with live multi-user video conferencing in what looks like a pretty elegant layout. A Google+er sets their status to "Live," and chatty friends can click "Join This Hangout" to get face to face.
    Huddle - Group instant messaging! When your picnic's rained out, or it's time to take the pub crawl to the next venue, this is your tool.
    Sparks - Starts out looking like a Google home page with a search bar, but this feature actually connects you to people with common interests. (Fellow food bloggers, say, or cat photographers.)

With Google+ on your mobile device, photos or videos (of your cat) taken with the app should get saved directly to an album on your Google+ account, ready to be shared (with your kitty-lover friend
Publish Post Circle). Also, you should be able to add locations to your every post, should you want to.

There's no word yet about when Google will let everyone on board the Google+ boat, but their website says it won't be long now.
For more info : Google blog
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