# Happy Tau Day

#### samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the look-how-round-it-is dept.

298
Forget about Pi Day, today we celebrate something twice as good: Tau Day. For far too long, Pi has been the bride and Tau has been the bridesmaid. As Michael Hartl points out in *The Tau Manifesto*, "Pi is a confusing and unnatural choice for the circle constant." He is giving a talk at the California Institute of Technology based on the Manifesto, with pie served at the end. "Twice as many as you might expect," he says.

## really scraping the bottom of the barrel (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597382)

news for nerds, eh?

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597406)

ha ha. You're not a nerd. ha ha!

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## thomasdz (178114) | about 3 years ago | (#36597474)

ha ha. You're not a nerd. ha ha!

shut up Nelson

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## yincrash (854885) | about 3 years ago | (#36597526)

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 3 years ago | (#36597588)

Teach both sides.

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36597852)

Teach both sides.

The lack of a constant between Pi day and Tau day proves that constants did not evolve on their own. Unless you can find a constant between Pi and Tau in the Holy Book of Knuth, or in the text of the Apocrypha/Art of Electronics, I must conclude that an intelligent designer created both Pi day and Tau day instead of a mere theory of slashdot dupe article evolution. Unfortunately the intelligent designer was not intelligent enough to make either day interesting enough for me to care, so sorry.

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## RuiFerreira (791654) | about 3 years ago | (#36598220)

## Tau ... zero? (1)

## AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 3 years ago | (#36598164)

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (2)

## Roobles (1880882) | about 3 years ago | (#36597544)

It's creative. It's mathematical. It's something that a non-nerd would struggle to appreciate. It's even under

idle. So what's the problem?## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597906)

tau is fucking retarded. That's the problem.

Yeah, there are a few weak arguments to be made why 2*pi is a better choice for a circle constant than pi. Fine, argue. It's stupid, but I won't call you out for it.

Oh, hey, let's use a greek letter that is already used in many situations where the circle constant is used and define it to be our circle constant to cause ambiguity and confusion. What the fuck, people?!

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## koreaman (835838) | about 3 years ago | (#36598128)

Seriously? A few weak arguments? I see 2pi way, way more often than pi.

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (2)

## AmaDaden (794446) | about 3 years ago | (#36597578)

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 years ago | (#36597664)

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## AmaDaden (794446) | about 3 years ago | (#36597850)

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (2)

## sexconker (1179573) | about 3 years ago | (#36598276)

I know changing from Pi to Tau seems silly but it's not at all about radius vs diameter for calculating the circumference, It's about everything else that uses Pi. When equations that use Pi are compared to other similar equations that use other constants they are always off by a factor of 2 in some way. Tau fixes that in all cases I am aware of (If you know any it does not please post them). "The Tau Manifesto" link goes over this in detail. Tau is simply a more fundamental constant then PI.

Tau is retarded. There's no point to it. Having a trig function have a 2 or not doesn't make it more elegant. 2 Pi is a constant. Tau is a constant. They're identical.

The rallying cry of this stupid meta-nerd Tau bullshit is "Pi is wrong!". That's just complete horse shit.

The main argument is

In particular, since a circle is defined as the set of points a fixed distance—the radius—from a given point, a more natural definition for the circle constant uses r in place of D:

Who gives a shit? What about when you want to define the area (you know, "the set of points a fixed distance—the radius—from a given point")? Pi R^2 is more "elegant" than Tau/2 R^2. What about when you want to use trig functions? We should be using Pi/2 for those, not Pi, and not 2 Pi.

And why are we concerned with a circle anyway? We live in 3D space (at least, for now) and we should be dealing with 3D objects. What's the volume of a sphere? 4/3 Pi R^3? Fuck that! It should be Lambda R^3 so it's more elegant!! Pi is wrong! Lambda is 4/3 Pi!

The bottom line is that if you want to talk about "elegance", you should be defining your point collections as {L = , M = x}, where L is the locus defined in your native dimension, and M is the magnitude (end to end or center to end, I don't give a shit). 1D? Line segment. 2D? Circle. 3D? Sphere. 4D? Yo Momma.

Add a Phi if you want to define a circle in 3D space, or a line segment in 2D space. Add a Theta or some shit if you want line segments in 3D.

The entire argument for Tau is imbecilic. It reeks of "I got a problem wrong on a test because instead of actually understanding trig functions, I memorized them, and memorized them wrong." This is fucking "KB = 1000B" all over again - utter horseshit that morons will point to as an excuse when they fuck up. "See? I was right!" No bro, you were wrong. At least with this Tau horseshit we won't have marketing departments behind the push for detrimental ambiguity.

Use Tau all you fucking want. Just understand that no one else gives a shit, and no one will be teaching it in schools.

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## Goaway (82658) | about 3 years ago | (#36598318)

No, radius is the principal measurement of a circle, a sphere, a hypersphere, and so on. The diameter is the mathematically unnatural measurement. The diameter is used

nowherebut in the relation of circumference to diameter. All other calculations use the radius, and factors of 2 pi.Pi was chose as it was because it is more practical to physically measure the diameter than the radius. This does not make it a mathematically sound choice, however.

## Re:really scraping the bottom of the barrel (1)

## black soap (2201626) | about 3 years ago | (#36598150)

makes more sense, except when calculating area. or volume. should we have separate constants, that are integer-ratio-multiples-of-pi, for each of those?

for a circle:

circumference=2*pi*Radius=tau*radius

area=pi*radius^2=0.5*tau*radius^2

for a sphere:

surface area=4*pi*Radius^2=2*tau*radius^2

volume=(4/3)*pi*radius^3= fuck it, why are you messing with pi?

do these people not realize that pi has applications beyond what they remember from basic geometry?

## Mmmm pi (2)

## Goose In Orbit (199293) | about 3 years ago | (#36597472)

As Weebl and Bob might say...

## Yin and yang (1)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598092)

## "Twice as many as you might expect"? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597486)

I would expect 2 Pi.

## Oh come on. (-1)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597488)

This merits publishing?

## Fuck that, I've created Upsilon! (3, Funny)

## elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#36597492)

It's 4*Pi, which makes it TWICE as kick-ass as Tau!

## Re:Fuck that, I've created Upsilon! (1)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597688)

Actually, Tau makes more sense than Pi or your Upsilon.

Pi = c/d or Pi = c/2r -- Which means it's a ratio between the circumference and the diameter, but radians are based on the radius, so a full circle is 2Pi radians.

Tau = c/r -- Which makes life a lot easier, because then the circle is Tau radians.

So what? Well, that means when graphing trigonometric functions becomes a whole lot easier:

See [youtube.com]

## Re:Fuck that, I've created Upsilon! (1)

## vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36597876)

Actually, Tau makes more sense than Pi or your Upsilon.

Pi = c/d or Pi = c/2r -- Which means it's a ratio between the circumference and the diameter, but radians are based on the radius, so a full circle is 2Pi radians.

Tau = c/r -- Which makes life a lot easier, because then the circle is Tau radians.

So what? Well, that means when graphing trigonometric functions becomes a whole lot easier:

See [youtube.com]

Tau makes it harder to teach. The stereotypical constructive geometric way to teach Pi is to use a string anchored at the center and a pencil at the other end to draw the circle using the geometric definition of what a circle is, and then figure the ratio of the string to the drawing. Tau... That's not obvious how to teach using constructive geometry and mathematical manipulatives.

## Re:Fuck that, I've created Upsilon! (1)

## heathen_01 (1191043) | about 3 years ago | (#36598012)

Tau makes it harder to teach. The stereotypical constructive geometric way to teach Pi is to use a string anchored at the center and a pencil at the other end to draw the circle using the geometric definition of what a circle is, and then figure the ratio of the string to the drawing. Tau... That's not obvious how to teach using constructive geometry and mathematical manipulatives.

I don't understand your point. The length of the string must is equal to the radius but what is the drawing equal to, the circumference? If so then you have drawing/string = C/r = 2Pi = Tau.

## Re:Fuck that, I've created Upsilon! (1)

## vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36598310)

I don't understand your point.

That's because I'm too spaced out this early in the morning. Yeah, I guess I'm now converted to the Tau side, too.

## Re:Fuck that, I've created Upsilon! (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36598364)

Well good luck celebrating 12/56. It's not more kick-ass if it can't be celebrated as a holiday, everyone knows that...

## arg (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597506)

oh god, this argument again...fuck my life.

## Re:arg (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597702)

we'll go with the tau if you drop the kibibytes :P

## Re:arg (1)

## hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#36597824)

Fo' shizzle.

## 2x the pies (1)

## Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#36597508)

## wrong tau (1)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597510)

For the greater good!

## Re:wrong tau (1)

## bsharp8256 (1372285) | about 3 years ago | (#36597816)

## Re:wrong tau (1)

## xmousex (661995) | about 3 years ago | (#36597900)

the whole reason i clicked it too

fucking math fags

also tomorrow is kroot day, cannibal feast!

## Tau pffft... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597528)

I have never heard "Shut your Tau hole!",and yet I hear "Shut your PI hole!" almost every day.

## Re:Tau pffft... (2)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598068)

I have never heard "Shut your Tau hole!"

That's because the Tau that can be shut is not the true Tau.

## Re:Tau pffft... (1)

## taiwanjohn (103839) | about 3 years ago | (#36598416)

Thanks man, it's been a long day, and that gave me a really good laugh. ;-)

## Dup! (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597552)

Wasn't this posted last year?!? I mean come on editors!

## Re:Dup! (1)

## hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#36597684)

I see you're protesting Euler's main number.

## Re:Dup! (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597884)

Absolutely, I mean e is so unnatural. I've always preferred to use schwa which is e ^ i. Euler's formula would then become

schwa ^ tau = 1

which, obviously, is perfection.

## Always show your work (2, Funny)

## Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 3 years ago | (#36597558)

After that I could write stuff like 67*pi = 188.40 + 21.98 = 210.38 (vertically)

The teacher never commented on showing my work after that...

## Re:Always show your work (1)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597594)

Why did you need to memorize it? I just ran through them in my head really quickly.

## Re:Always show your work (1)

## bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 years ago | (#36597674)

## Re:Always show your work (4, Informative)

## geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36598004)

Then you teacher failed. Showing your work is about knowing the procedure to do something.

Even the dimmest child can look at: 4 * X = 8 and KNOW X=2. But the real lesson is showing the work so when it's not that easy you can get a correct answer.

You use an easy example so when they finish going through the correct steps they can know they did it correctly.

## Re:Always show your work (1)

## AikonMGB (1013995) | about 3 years ago | (#36598322)

One of the worst things you can do to a student that truly understands the material is to drag them down and force them to do what they consider menial tasks. It is a fine line, because I agree that it is important that students learn how to work through more complicated problems. However, when someone has already demonstrated their ability and is effectively doing homework and writing tests simply to "jump through the hoops", you can seriously cripple their interest in pursuing the field entirely and drive them away.

I know that it is a difficult task in today's school system, but the

correctapproach is to challenge the student and engage them mentally.Aikon-

## Re:Always show your work (4, Interesting)

## AikonMGB (1013995) | about 3 years ago | (#36598412)

Now for the anecdote part relating how a "one-size-fits-all" education scheme doesn't work in practice:

In elementary school, my brother's teacher would give the class spelling quizzes. He scored 100% on the first quiz. The second quiz rolled around and he scored 100% again. He was distraught because many of his colleagues had gotten stickers on their returned quizzes as rewards, and yet he had gotten nothing. The teacher's explanation was that the rewards were for

improvementon the quizzes -- if you did better than last time, you got a sticker.His response was to intentionally fail the subsequent quiz, and then slowly build up his score to 100%, and then restart the process. The teacher was concerned about his inconsistent spelling skills and thought he might have problems with distraction; my parents understood what had happened immediately.

When you reduce education to the lowest common denominator, you remove any chance for the gifted, the skilled, the interested, and the excited students to excel at their studies.

Aikon-

## Writing as quickly as thinking? (1)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598330)

But the real lesson is showing the work so when it's not that easy you can get a correct answer.

So it has become a problem of input devices. I think divide by 4 on each side, but how do I write this down as quickly as I think it?

## They've got a point (1)

## LordNacho (1909280) | about 3 years ago | (#36597574)

Angles: 2Pi in a full circle? Somehow it's more satisfying if the proportion of a circle were between 0 and 1: xTau. So half a circle would be (1/2)Tau, not the whole-looking 1Pi.

If you look at various "important" equations, you often end up seeing 2Pi in there. Gaussian, Riemann, Fourier. Another one: h/2Pi, h being Planck's constant. Why not make 2Pi the constant?

Even Pi*r^2 is more appropriate as (Tau/2)r^2, if you compare with (1/2)mv^2.

I have to admit I was not violently emotional when I read the argument though.

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597726)

Yes, but e^(i*Pi)+1=0

Overrules pretty much everything.

## Re:They've got a point (0)

## Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 3 years ago | (#36597810)

e^(i*Tau) = 1

Is that not as good or better?

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## Lord Lode (1290856) | about 3 years ago | (#36597864)

Or if you want the constant 0 in it too, e^(i*Tau) - 1 = 0 :)

## Re:They've got a point (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597934)

or as the tau manifesto suggests (that no one here as appeared to read), it's already there: e(i*tau) = 1 + 0, and no rearranging is needed.

## ^^This (1)

## Slutticus (1237534) | about 3 years ago | (#36597928)

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## AlecC (512609) | about 3 years ago | (#36597814)

Agreed. This is just too elegant to throw away. Did not deserve to be modded down.

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## heathen_01 (1191043) | about 3 years ago | (#36598070)

## Re:They've got a point (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36598390)

Not quite, actually. By adding "+1=0", you manage to relate 5 pretty fundamental and independent numbers using 4 also fundamental operations (addition, multiplication, exponents, and equality). It basically, explicitly and implicitly, relates nearly every major concept developed by mathematicians in calculus, algebra, and geometry for some 3 thousand years. All in one small package.

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## adisakp (705706) | about 3 years ago | (#36597858)

Yes, but e^(i*Pi)+1=0 Overrules pretty much everything.

The whole idea of Tau is for people who are too stupid to multiply by 2.

Throwing in

e(the irrational number whose powers are the inverse of natural logarithms) andi(the imaginary square root of negative one) is gonna confuse them even more than taking Sara Palin to a book reading club.## Re:They've got a point (2)

## As_I_Please (471684) | about 3 years ago | (#36597908)

e^(i*tau) - 1 = 0

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## LordNacho (1909280) | about 3 years ago | (#36597948)

e^(i*Tau)=1+0

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## Hythlodaeus (411441) | about 3 years ago | (#36598292)

RTFA e^(i*tau)=1

## Re:They've got a point (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597728)

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## LordNacho (1909280) | about 3 years ago | (#36598040)

RTFA, tauday.com. Figure 1.

Looks a bit confusing to me though.

## Tau and pi: tally marks in the denominator (1)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598136)

Why call it tau? Couldn't you call it, say, two-pi

The symbol for tau is a line over one vertical mark (/ I). The symbol for pi is a line over two vertical marks (/ II). You could consider this to represent a fraction bar with a Roman numeral in the denominator, and thus tau and pi represent different denominators: tau is the circle constant divided by 1, and pi is the circle constant divided by 2.

## Re:They've got a point (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597822)

Can't we have both?

## Re:They've got a point (1)

## RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 3 years ago | (#36598368)

I think it's a false dichotomy to say you have to have one or the other.

Yes, calculating circles, cosines, etc, with Tau is going to be way easier than using 2Pi, but, for most non-math types, I can't imagine them needing that kind of distinction.

Plus additional greek letters always look cool.

## Tau is used everywhere. I prefer k_k (1)

## BetterSense (1398915) | about 3 years ago | (#36597626)

Of course, it's pronounced "cake".

## Re:Tau is used everywhere. I prefer k_k (1)

## agentgonzo (1026204) | about 3 years ago | (#36597996)

## Obligatory (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597628)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jG7vhMMXagQ#at=290

## We already missed Pi Day (1)

## euroq (1818100) | about 3 years ago | (#36597640)

I was thinking we already had a Tau Day article on Slashdot, but searched revealed that 3/14 was Pi day: http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/03/14/1329210/Happy-Pi-Day [slashdot.org]

## Pronounciation fail (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597672)

In modern greek, the letter "" is pronounced "taf".

## Re:Pronounciation fail (1)

## koreaman (835838) | about 3 years ago | (#36598230)

Who cares? How is this in any way relevant to the discussion?

## Date formats on the rest of the planet (1)

## Livius (318358) | about 3 years ago | (#36597676)

Wait, it's not the 62nd of August yet... ...you insensitive clod!

## by Livius (318358) on 2011-06-28 11:16 (1)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598176)

## Obligatory Southpark... (1)

## erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#36597690)

"... Yer a Tau!"

## I prefer Pi (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597700)

3.141592 vs 6.283184. And odd numbers are clearly superior to even numbers :).

Besides, Pi is now so deeply ingrained in my brain, I'm afraid there is no hope of updating my brain to the Tau version.

## Re:I prefer Pi (1)

## koreaman (835838) | about 3 years ago | (#36598260)

The odd and even numbers are subsets of the integers... neither pi nor tau is odd or even.

## Happy tau day to you too! (1)

## Lord Lode (1290856) | about 3 years ago | (#36597716)

:)

## As a mathematician... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597750)

I like the idea of tau, especially as a teaching tool. The intuition for dividing up a circle is much better. The arguments over superfluous 2's in numerators or denominators seems, frankly, stupid to me--there's some constant floating around, what it is isn't really crucial to understanding the idea. However, I think it's pretty pointless for me to bring up tau in a college lecture as students have already been indoctrinated to think in terms of pi. I'm not optimistic anything will ever change at the high school level, so it's all academic really (no pun intended).

## Tau is already used (1)

## Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | about 3 years ago | (#36597786)

## Re:Tau is already used (1)

## heathen_01 (1191043) | about 3 years ago | (#36598172)

Although I would love to see mathematicians change their ways, I’m not particularly worried about them; they can take care of themselves. It is the neophytes I am most worried about, for they take the brunt of the damage

## As is pi (1)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598286)

Tau is already used to describe the relationship of speed to the apparent speed of the passage of time.

And pi is already used to describe conjugate momentum, as Tau Manifesto [tauday.com] explains. Wikipedia lists a whole bunch of other meanings of pi [wikipedia.org] .

## For the moment, not persuaded. (1)

## DdJ (10790) | about 3 years ago | (#36597828)

I

mightagree that it makes sense to switch from pi to tau after I agree it makes sense to change from imperial measurement to the metric system.Note that at this time I do

notagree that it makes sense to switch to metric, so we may be in for a bit of a wait...## Re:For the moment, not persuaded. (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36598018)

I don't know if you were asleep, but the imperial vs metric thing is over. The US doesn't have the budget to run a parallel system of units. So it doesn't have one. How far is a foot? No way to know without knowing what fraction of a metre one foot has been defined as by statute. How much energy exactly is a BTU? Trick question, a BTU isn't a standard unit of energy at all, it could be almost any amount of joules of energy depending on how it was measured. The "imperial" units are a joke, either undefined or defined only in terms of metric units and often in counter-intuitive or plain nonsensical ways.

The result is that in surveys we find Americans have no idea what they're buying, they're reduced to estimating by eye as if they lived in the 18th century or systems of weights and measures never even existed. That's the triumph of this "imperial system" that's neither a product of empire nor much of a system.

## Re:For the moment, not persuaded. (1)

## LordNacho (1909280) | about 3 years ago | (#36598024)

Luckily, you can easily write T=2Pi in your equations. No need to reprint thousands of T-Shirts.

I think the main point of the rant is that Tau somehow seems more fundamental. What defines a circle? A locus of points on a plane equidistant from a certain point. That distance is somehow more fundamental than 2r, even if the distinction is trivial.

## Re:For the moment, not persuaded. (1)

## geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36598026)

What possible reason could you have not to finish switching to metric?

## The Emperor is my Shield!!!!! (1)

## belligerent0001 (966585) | about 3 years ago | (#36597842)

## Illustration (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597848)

Pi is wrong, cute video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG7vhMMXagQ

## IT'S ALSO WORLD CAPSLOCK DAY (2)

## CmdrPorno (115048) | about 3 years ago | (#36597872)

(Which apparently triggers the lameness filter...)

IN MEMORY OF BILLY MAYS! DON'T JUST CLEAN IT, SCREAM AT IT!

Why does the lameness filter think Billy Mays is lame?

## Re:IT'S ALSO WORLD CAPSLOCK DAY (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36597950)

Well, he is dead, so by that reckoning he is quite lame too.

## Re:IT'S ALSO WORLD CAPSLOCK DAY (0)

## geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36598050)

Because Billy Mays is lame.

He's a guy the screamed at us to buy crap.

For a site that has a lot of people who hate advertising, why is Billy Mays so popular?

## Re:IT'S ALSO WORLD CAPSLOCK DAY (1)

## Trilkin (2042026) | about 3 years ago | (#36598144)

Personality.

## Re:IT'S ALSO WORLD CAPSLOCK DAY (1)

## tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36598402)

why is Billy Mays so popular

Go on YouTube and search for suicide jack, suicide putty, or suicide hooks.

## We physicists and EEs also need... (1)

## darenw (74015) | about 3 years ago | (#36597924)

exp(2 pi i x) where x is some simple expression of time or distance occurs a *lot*. Years ago, I invented a symbol for exp(2pi*i): a one with a tilde superimposed in the middle. e^(2pi*i) does indeed compute to 1.0, but taken to some power x, of course we don't mean (1)^x but what exp(2 pi i x) normally means. A one with a tilde superimposed reminds us to do this. This notation makes many formulas involving Fourier transforms, waves, AC circuit analysis, and quantum mechanics nice and elegant, and 1 with the tilde is not a challenge for Latex or Lout.

For 2pi, I sometimes use a circle with a dot at the center. Tau is way too overloaded, as has been pointed out already.

## Tau is already used (1)

## geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36598034)

And if he didn't know that, then he should get back to the books and stop wasting time.

## Re:Tau is already used (1)

## koreaman (835838) | about 3 years ago | (#36598294)

Pi is used for things other than the circle constant, too...

## But pie are square (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36598132)

area = pi*r^2 is nice and simple - pie are square

area = (tau*r^2)/4 just doesn't roll off the tongue - quarter tau are square

## Sophomoric number humor (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36598162)

Hair Pi vs Camel Tau... tough choice

## Why not both? (1)

## RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 3 years ago | (#36598242)

Tau for uber math nerds, physicists, EE geeks and anyone else who needs to calculate an arc tangent and Pi for everyone who just needs to figure out what diameter pipe they need to fix their sink?

## Re:Why not both? (1)

## Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36598374)

## Re:Why not both? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36598394)

Why would physicists and EEs use tau for a circle constant when tau already has meaning in the situations where pi would be used? They like ambiguity of notation and possible confusion? If anything, this tau nonsense is being pushed by people who don't actually use math.