Thursday, May 7, 2020

Squaring the circle . . . or not . . .

     Start with a CIRCLE -- is it possible, using only a straightedge and compass, to construct a SQUARE with the same area as the starting circle?  This problem, posed by ancient geometers, was long believed to be impossible, but not proven so until 1882 when Ferdinand von Lindemann proved that π is transcendental.
     Freelance editor and math-geek Sam Hartburn offers at her website a fun-to-read poem on this topic.  The first stanza is offered below, followed by a link to the full poem text -- and a recording. 

 (not) Squaring the Circle     by Sam Hartburn

          So I had this circle, but I wanted a square
          Don’t ask why, that’s my affair
          The crucial aspect of this little game
          Is that the area should stay the same
          Ruler and compass are the tools to use
          It’s been proven impossible, but that’s no excuse
          Many have tried it, but hey, I’m me
          I’m bound to find something that they couldn’t see

          So, here we go

                . . .
Hartburn's complete poem (and recording) may be found here.

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