# Happy Tau Day!

June 28, 2011 11 Comments

I almost missed the chance to promote Tau Day! Many of you probably know about Pi Day, held on March 14th. At my high school we used to bring in pies to the math room and eat them at 1:59PM in a glorious (and delicious) celebration of mathematics. But the inimitable Vi Hart lobs an objection: using Pi often doesn’t make as much sense as using Tau, the ratio of the circumference of a circle over its RADIUS.

Thus, we need a new day in celebration of the more-useful Tau:

Seeing as Tau is approximately 6.28 and today is June 28th, have yourself a great Tau Day and enjoy two pi(e)s! While you’re eating, you can go check out more of Vi Hart’s work – she does a fantastic job showing how much fun math can be. We need more voices like hers, and I’ll be sure to post more of her videos!

I … never thought of that! I’ll have some tau tonight in honor of the occasion. By the way, are you looking forward to the opening of the mathematics museum in Manhattan in a few years?

Yes. A hundred times, yes. I love math presented in a fun way and can’t wait to see MoMath!

It seems so obvious now! And yet, I’m reluctant to let go of pi. If only the greeks had come up with a letter that was a homonym of “pizza” and this would all be settled…

Homophone, I should say

In Norwegian “tau” is a homophone of the word for rope. Also the plural “taus” can mean either “girl” or “silent.” Tau day could be a great day to release Norwegian horror movies intended for a math-loving audience.

I dislike Tau because you can divide it by 2 and so it doesn’t feel like a fundamental constant to me.

This is strange. I was just reading about tau the day this was published. It is clearly some kind of psychic connection.

I agree with David — 2*pi doesn’t seem special enough to celebrate both it and pi, and I’m too set in my ways to think in terms of tau instead of pi. In fact, before this year, I didn’t even know folks had spent another scarce Greek letter on this. I’ve seen tau do useful work as a variable in physics and elsewhere, and want to hold onto it for that.

Instead of using up another Greek letter, let’s just call tau “2pi”. They both even have 3 symbols when written out as I just wrote them. When you see 2pi, think circle. Then, pi/2 becomes 2pi/4, a quarter circle, that was easy.

No more blogging, eh?

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