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Squaring the circle

Squaring the circle

Squaring the circle is one of the problems of classical geometry in Greek Mathematics, constructed in 200 BC. Pluto tried solving this problem using the straight edge and compass. But the problem was yet to be solved.

Mathematician has worked on the problem of constructing a square equal in area to that of the given circle. To achieve this requires a length equal to the square root of Pi times the radius of the circle. In 1882, Lindemann theorem proves that Pi is a transcendental number. Transcendental numbers are not an algebraic number. It means not a root of polynomial equation with Rational coefficients.

Hence, Lindemann proved that squaring the circle is not possible with just compass and straight edge. So the term 'squaring the circle' is normally used as metaphor when trying to do something impossible.

In literary world, the term Squaring the circle was used by the great poets like Alexander pope and Dante.

In Dante's Paradise canto, he wrote the verse

As the geometer his mind applies To square the circle, nor for all his wit Finds the right formula, howe'er he tries

In the above phrase he uses squaring the circle to represent the task that human beings cannot comprehend. Here he expresses his own inability to comprehend the paradise. Thus the term created an impact among the literary world too.

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Daily Maths Topic Today - squaring the circle.


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