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      Laurelindo's Avatar
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      What are your opinions on the proposed mathematical circle constant τ (tau)?

      Most math enthusiasts have probably heard of the constant τ at this point, which is simply twice the value of the well-known "pi" constant (in other words, τ = 2π), and this constant has been discussed on various popular sites, like KhanAcademy and Numberphile, and people tend to have very strong opinions about it.
      I was wondering, what are your opinions on this constant?

      The idea of this constant is that it is considered more natural for periodic motions, since the number of τ radians immediately corresponds to the number of periods (for example, 0.5τ radians is exactly 0.5 periods).
      Personally I think that this sounds like a very good idea, simply because it seems like it would be more intuitive than defining one period as 2π radians (two π for every one period - that feels a bit strange to me), so I guess that you could consider me a τ supporter.
      Also, τ is defined as the ratio between a circle's circumference and its radius (as opposed to the diameter, in the case of π), and this is more relevant for math and physics, which tend to use radii instead of diameters (like torque and angular momentum, for example).
      However, I would also like to hear your opinions about this - do you think that slowly replacing π with τ is a good, realistic goal, or should we perhaps use both of them at the same time, or not use τ at all?

      Note that this has nothing to do with just making equations "look nicer" - it is more about which constant that would be more intuitive for newbies who are just starting out on Trigonometry, and whose mathematical background is Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry.

      (By the way, I am aware that the "real" Greek word for τ is "taf", but "tau" is the conventional mathematical pronunciation.
      I guess you could think of it as a way to distinguish between the Greek letter and the mathematical constant.)
      Last edited by Laurelindo; 03-04-2016 at 04:40 PM.

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