Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tau (τ) > Pi (π): The circle constant you knew is all wrong

Happy Tau Day! What is tau (τ), you ask? Tau is twice the value of the famous mathematical constant pi (π), 6.28... Hence, 6/28 is "Tau Day" in echo of celebration of "Pi Day" on 3/14.

As it turns out, we've been mythologizing exactly the wrong circle constant, and τ is the more natural choice. Of course, the math works out either way, since you just need a factor of two to convert between them. So why would you choose τ over π? Why should you choose τ over π?