# The Discovery That Transformed Pi

TLDRThe video script explores the historical methods of calculating Pi, highlighting the laborious geometrical approaches used for millennia and the revolutionary change brought by Isaac Newton. Newton's innovative use of the binomial theorem and integration allowed for a far more efficient calculation of Pi, rendering the traditional methods of polygon bisecting obsolete. The script emphasizes the power of mathematical insight and pushing the boundaries of established patterns to achieve significant advancements.

###### Takeaways

- π Pi can be understood through the circumference of a circle and its relationship to the circle's area (Pi β 3.14 times the diameter).
- π Archimedes used polygons to approximate Pi, improving the method by increasing the number of sides and thus refining the bounds of Pi's value.
- π€ For over 2000 years, mathematicians continued to bisect polygons to calculate Pi, with methods becoming increasingly complex and precise.
- π Ludolph van Ceulen's calculation of Pi to 35 decimal places using a polygon with an enormous number of sides was a monumental effort for its time.
- π Isaac Newton revolutionized Pi calculation with his work on the binomial theorem, introducing the concept of applying the theorem to non-integer values.
- π Newton's work on the binomial theorem allowed for the calculation of irrational numbers and the expansion of mathematical possibilities beyond traditional integer applications.
- π Pascal's triangle, which is key to understanding the binomial theorem, has been recognized across cultures and is a testament to the universal nature of mathematics.
- π§ Newton's approach to Pi calculation was a significant leap from the laborious polygon method, demonstrating the power of mathematical innovation.
- π By integrating series derived from the binomial theorem, Newton was able to calculate Pi to high precision with less computational effort than previous methods.
- π Newton's method for calculating Pi is an example of pushing mathematical boundaries and finding more efficient solutions to longstanding problems.

###### Q & A

### How was Pi approximately calculated before advanced mathematical methods were developed?

-Before advanced methods, Pi was calculated using the simple approach of comparing the circumference of a circle with that of regular polygons inscribed within or circumscribed around it. By increasing the number of sides of these polygons, mathematicians could estimate Pi with increasing precision.

### What method did Archimedes use to calculate Pi?

-Archimedes improved upon the basic method by inscribing and circumscribing polygons with a large number of sides, such as a dodecagon (12 sides), around a circle and calculating their perimeters. By doing so, he was able to provide a more precise range for Pi, between 3.1408 and 3.1429.

### How did Ludolph van Ceulen contribute to the calculation of Pi?

-Ludolph van Ceulen, in the early 17th century, spent 25 years computing the circumference of a polygon with two to the 62nd power sides, which allowed him to calculate Pi to 35 correct decimal places. His results were later inscribed on his tombstone.

### What was revolutionary about Isaac Newton's approach to calculating Pi?

-Isaac Newton revolutionized the calculation of Pi by applying the binomial theorem to non-integer values, including negative and fractional powers. This allowed him to create an infinite series that could be used to approximate Pi with high precision, significantly faster than previous methods.

### How did Newton use Pascal's triangle in his calculation of Pi?

-Newton observed that the coefficients in the binomial expansion corresponded to the numbers in Pascal's triangle. By applying the binomial theorem to non-integer values, he was able to extend the use of Pascal's triangle beyond its traditional integer rows, which facilitated the calculation of Pi.

### What is the significance of Newton's infinite series in the context of the binomial theorem?

-Newton's infinite series was significant because it extended the applicability of the binomial theorem beyond its traditional domain of positive integer exponents. This allowed for the calculation of irrational numbers and the approximation of Pi using simple arithmetic with fractions.

### How did Newton's method change the way Pi was calculated?

-Newton's method drastically reduced the time and effort required to calculate Pi. Instead of laboriously bisecting polygons, his infinite series allowed for the rapid approximation of Pi to high precision, making the previous methods obsolete.

### What was the result of evaluating only the first five terms of Newton's series for Pi?

-Evaluating only the first five terms of Newton's series yielded a Pi value of 3.14161, which was off by just two parts in a hundred thousand. This demonstrated the effectiveness of Newton's method in quickly obtaining a highly accurate approximation of Pi.

### How did Newton's work on Pi relate to his invention of calculus?

-Newton's work on Pi was closely related to his invention of calculus, which he called the theory of Fluxions. He used calculus to integrate under the curve of the infinite series he derived, effectively calculating the area under the curve that represented a quarter of a unit circle, which is directly related to Pi.

### What lesson can be learned from the evolution of Pi calculation methods?

-The evolution of Pi calculation methods teaches us the importance of pushing beyond traditional boundaries and exploring new mathematical ideas. It shows that a little bit of insight and mathematical innovation can lead to significant advancements and more efficient problem-solving techniques.

### How did the process of calculating Pi evolve from ancient times to the method introduced by Newton?

-The process evolved from simple geometric estimations using polygons, to Archimedes' method of inscribing and circumscribing polygons with more sides for better precision, to Ludolph van Ceulen's extremely high-sided polygons. Finally, Newton's introduction of using infinite series and the binomial theorem for non-integer exponents provided a much faster and more precise method, effectively ending the need for polygon-based approximations.

###### Outlines

##### π Historical Methods of Calculating Pi

This paragraph discusses the historical methods used to calculate Pi, highlighting the tedious and slow process that was employed for over 2000 years. It begins with a simple explanation of Pi using pizzas to illustrate the concept of Pi as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and its relation to the area of a circle. The paragraph then delves into the ancient methods, such as inscribing and circumscribing polygons around a circle to estimate Pi's value, with a focus on Archimedes' improvements. It also mentions the work of Chinese, Indian, Persian, and Arab mathematicians who refined these bounds over time. The narrative culminates with the efforts of Francois Viete and Ludolph van Ceulen, who calculated Pi to incredible precisions, only to be surpassed by Christoph Grienberger. The paragraph sets the stage for the introduction of Isaac Newton's revolutionary method.

##### π Newton's Breakthrough with Pi

This paragraph focuses on Isaac Newton's groundbreaking approach to calculating Pi during his self-imposed quarantine due to the bubonic plague. At the age of 23, Newton explored simple expressions and connected them to Pascal's triangle, revealing a pattern that allowed him to bypass laborious arithmetic. He recognized that the coefficients in the binomial expansion corresponded to the numbers in Pascal's triangle, which could be easily computed. Newton then extended the binomial theorem beyond its conventional boundaries, applying it to negative and fractional exponents, leading to the discovery of infinite series representations. This innovation allowed for the calculation of Pi with higher precision and efficiency than ever before, marking a significant leap in mathematical understanding.

##### π’ Newton's Infinite Series and Pi

The third paragraph delves deeper into Newton's infinite series and its application to Pi. Newton justified the use of the binomial theorem for negative values of N by demonstrating that the resulting series converges to 1 over 1+X. He then extended this concept to include fractional powers, such as the square root, which was particularly relevant to the equation of a unit circle. By integrating the infinite series from zero to a half, Newton was able to derive a formula for Pi that only required simple arithmetic with fractions. This method drastically reduced the computational effort needed to approximate Pi, rendering the previous methods of bisecting polygons obsolete. Newton's work exemplified the power of mathematical insight and the importance of pushing beyond established boundaries.

##### π Impact of Newton's Method on Calculating Pi

The final paragraph reflects on the transformative impact of Newton's method for calculating Pi. It emphasizes the shift from labor-intensive methods, such as bisecting polygons, to Newton's efficient infinite series. The narrative likens this technological leap to the advent of cranes in construction, making the previous methods obsolete. The paragraph also highlights the value of exploring patterns and extending them beyond their expected limits, as this can lead to significant advancements. The story of Pi's calculation serves as a metaphor for the importance of innovation and the potential of mathematical insights to revolutionize our understanding and capabilities.

###### Mindmap

###### Keywords

##### π‘Pi

##### π‘Isaac Newton

##### π‘Calculus

##### π‘Pascal's Triangle

##### π‘Binomial Theorem

##### π‘Archimedes

##### π‘Polygon Approximation

##### π‘Infinite Series

##### π‘Integration

##### π‘Fluxions

##### π‘Brilliant

###### Highlights

The video discusses the historical methods of calculating Pi and how Isaac Newton revolutionized the process.

Pi is introduced as being related to both the circumference and the area of a circle, with the formula for area being Pi R squared.

A simple method using pizza slices to illustrate the concept of Pi and the circle's area is explained.

The ancient method of estimating Pi by inscribing and circumscribing polygons is described.

Archimedes' improvement on the method by using a dodecagon and then increasing the number of sides for more precision is mentioned.

The laborious efforts of mathematicians like Francois Viete and Ludolph van Ceulen in calculating Pi to more decimal places are highlighted.

The reward for van Ceulen's 25-year effort was 35 correct decimal places of Pi, which was later surpassed.

Isaac Newton's introduction of his method marked the end of the polygon bisecting approach for calculating Pi.

Newton's work on Pi occurred during his self-imposed quarantine due to the bubonic plague at the age of 23.

Newton's discovery involved recognizing patterns in the binomial theorem and Pascal's triangle.

The binomial theorem was generalized to calculate the numbers in any row of Pascal's triangle without computing previous rows.

Newton extended the binomial theorem to include negative and fractional exponents, leading to new insights.

The infinite series derived from the binomial theorem for negative and fractional exponents is explained.

Newton's method for calculating Pi involves integrating an infinite series of terms, which is a more efficient approach than previous methods.

By integrating only up to a half, Newton further refined his method to calculate Pi with fewer terms and higher efficiency.

Newton's series allowed for the calculation of Pi to high precision using only the first few terms, significantly reducing the computational effort.

The video concludes by emphasizing the importance of pushing beyond traditional boundaries in mathematics and exploring new ideas.

###### Transcripts

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