pi, a long story

From: scerir (scerir@libero.it)
Date: Tue Nov 13 2001 - 15:35:48 MST

[fwd from another list]

- Siegmund Probst wrote:
>> "Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni (973-1048), in his 'Canon Masudicus'
('al-Qanun al-Mas'udi') claimed that the ratio of 'the number of
the circumference' to 'the number of the diameter [which he took
to be equal to 2] is irrational' (pp. 126, 510)." [Rosenfeld and
Youschkevitch in the 'Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic
Science, (Roshdi Rashed ed.), vol. 2, London/New York, 1996, p.
454; the reference cited seems to be to the edition of the al-
Qanun al-Mas'udi', Hyderabad, 1954-56.] <<

- Gordon Fisher wrote:
>> Did he give a proof or just make a claim?<<

- Boaz Tsaban wrote:
>> You may wish to have a look at our paper *.
On the Rabbinical approximation of pi,
where your questions are discussed.
http://www.cs.biu.ac.il/~tsaban/ <<

* We discuss the Rabbinical tradition of geometry
concerning circular shapes, as it appears in the Babylonian
Talmud and in later commentaries. Three explanations of
the difference between pi and the Rabbinical value for it,
so far not widely known among the scientific community,
are given.

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