Pi Day Philately

Today is Pi day, i.e. 3.14, which is a pretty cool pseudo-holiday celebrated by

Archimedes Stamp Issued by Italy in 1983

mathematicians and computer nerds with no real fanfare other than the remark, “Hey, it’s Pi day…you know 3.14?” and the widespread eating of pies which at least illustrate Pi. 

I couldn’t find any stamps with Pi on them, but I found plenty of stamps featuring Archimedes, who studied Pi rigorously.  He realized that its magnitude could be bounded from below and above by inscribing circles in regular polygons and calculating the outer and inner polygons’ respective perimeters.  By using the equivalent of 96-sided polygons, he proved that 3\tfrac{10}{71} < \pi < 3\tfrac{10}{70}.  The average of these values is about 3.14185.


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