## The Tau Manifesto

For the discussion of math. Duh.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

arbiteroftruth
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:44 am UTC

### Re: The Tau Manifesto

I think the main point behind tau is that it's worth doing precisely *because* it's irrelevant to real mathematicians. They can handle a variable substitution just fine, but all the anecdotal evidence I've seen indicates that tau is much easier for educational purposes. So if switching to tau helps one group of people, and is irrelevant to the other, the conclusion is to switch.

All the commentary about other places where the circle constant shows up is mainly about showing how those equations are still derived from the basic case of the circle, and in that case the derivation is potentially clarified or easier to follow when the association with the circle uses the more directly associated constant, tau. In particular, a broad range of categories relate back to actual circles in the following way.

The Gaussian integral is evaluated to sqrt(tau/2) by way of evaluating the 2-dimensional integral in polar coordinates, exploiting the function's circular symmetry in 2 dimensions.
From the Gaussian integral, we get all manner of probability applications, the values of the Gamma function at half-integers, and a non-recursive solution to the general problem of hyperspherical volume.
Through the Gamma function we can acquire the functional equation of the Riemann Zeta function.
From the Riemann Zeta function we get applications to number theory.

And so on. The point isn't to find the value that eliminates the most fractions in the most equations. The point is to relate things back to the simplest starting point possible.

Derek
Posts: 2181
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

### Re: The Tau Manifesto

Have I posted in this thread before? Not sure. Well, I'm in the Tau camp, for the record.

PM 2Ring
Posts: 3713
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia

### Re: The Tau Manifesto

I may have said this earlier in the thread; I can't be bothered re-reading the old posts. I agree that it's reasonable to claim that tau has various advantages over pi, but are these advantages great enough to warrant changing to tau now, when we've been using pi for so long? As others have said, it boils down to a factor of 2, and if coping with that is too hard then maybe mathematics is not for you. OTOH, if multiple trials clearly show the pedagogical advantages of tau over pi, then I'd have no objections to teaching kids tau. After all, the tau proponents don't seem to be pushing for the abolition of pi.

kubit
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:16 pm UTC

### Re: The Tau Manifesto

Just to put my two cents worth in... I'm fairly sure mathematics education has far more important problems these days than whether 2pi has its own symbol! Really, even though I agree that there is a point with tau being more intuitive in geometry it seems like major waste of time to argue over it...

Cleverbeans
Posts: 1378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:16 pm UTC

### Re: The Tau Manifesto

kubit wrote:it seems like major waste of time to argue over it...

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elasto
Posts: 3757
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 am UTC

### Re: The Tau Manifesto

M= Man looking for an argument
R= Receptionist
Q= Abuser
A= Arguer (John Cleese)
C= Complainer (Eric Idle)

M: Ah. I'd like to have an argument, please.
R: Certainly sir. Have you been here before?
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R: Fine. Well, I'll see who's free at the moment.
Pause
R: Mr. DeBakey's free, but he's a little bit conciliatory.
Ahh yes, Try Mr. Barnard; room 12.
M: Thank you.

(Walks down the hall. Opens door.)

Q: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
M: Well, I was told outside that...
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(Walk down the corridor)

M: (Knock)
A: Come in.
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(short pause)
A: No it isn't.
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A: (Rings bell) Good Morning.
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A: That's it. Good morning.
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Pause
A: I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to argue anymore.
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(pays money)
A: Thank you.
short pause
M: Well?
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A: I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.
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A: No you didn't.
M: I DID!
A: No you didn't.
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A: No you haven't.
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(Walks down the stairs. Opens door.)

M: I want to complain.
C: You want to complain! Look at these shoes. I've only had them three weeks and the heels are worn right through.
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C: If you complain nothing happens, you might as well not bother.
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(Slams door. walks down corridor, opens next door.)

M: Hello, I want to... Ooooh!
H: No, no, no. Hold your head like this, then go Waaah. Try it again.
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M: What a stupid concept.