Mathematical Cat Fight (Happy Tau Day — June 28th)

When I went to school a zillion years ago, using Pi was a given in math class. So I was astonished to learn that some mathematicians favor using Tau instead. What’s the difference? While Pi’s value is 3.14 plus an endless bunch of post-decimal digits, Tau’s value is double Pi at 6.28 (plus its own post-decimal digits*.) And while Pi is celebrated on March 14th, math fans commemorate Tau on June 28th.

I figured that since I’ve already written Pi a limerick ode in its honor, Tau deserves the same treatment:

Mathematical Cat Fight (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It seems Pi has a challenger — Wow!
The name of its rival is Tau!
Its value is twice
That of Pi — oh how nice!
“2 Pi R” becomes “Tau R.” Meow!

Happy Tau Day!

* Edited for clarity.

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19 Responses to “Mathematical Cat Fight (Happy Tau Day — June 28th)”

  1. Courtney Jones Media says:

    Happy Tau Day. :]

  2. Informational AND Funny! Love it!

  3. Nara Malone says:

    Laughing. This is so cute. It’s hard to find good math poetry :)

  4. Pat Hatt says:

    Never knew about Tau
    Must make pie have a cow
    Dirty needing a bath
    From being beaten at math
    What will Pi do now

  5. Kim Nelson says:

    You are so dog-gone clever! ;-)

  6. Mama Zen says:

    I’m in favor of anything that saves me from an endless bunch of decimals!

  7. Tilly Bud says:

    You learn something new every day!

  8. Bubble says:

    Tau is my middle name..Maybe my parents are Pi…2Pi=Tau

  9. Geraldine says:

    Oh I love this Madeleine! Nice work and happy Tau Ku Day!

  10. pamelasayers says:

    Well, I certainly did learn something, Madeleine.


  11. ayala says:

    I agree with Tilly…you learn something new every day :)

  12. Haha. Very cute limerick! I had no idea Tao existed either… until I saw the holiday announced on some blogs yesterday. There is always something to learn out there. :)

  13. Vijaya Prakash says:

    Madeleine, Your Pi limerick has been in my head for 3 days… and I have attempted at several takes… this one seems decent enough to be posted at this page…

    The Pi who thought it was a constant,
    Went around circles unhesitant,
    But 3.14,
    Is VIP no more,
    The winner now is Tau, the celebrant!

  14. Hi Madeleine,

    I invite you to go through this if and when you have the time…

    Pi meets its nemesis tau

  15. Steve Nance says:

    Three point one four one five nine two six…
    In my head, like a poem, it sticks
    But this brutish truncation,
    This Tau! robs creation
    Of wild Pi’s endless musical licks

    The Tau, that can be
    Calculated, it is not
    The eternal Tao

  16. Steve Nance says:

    Uh, sorry, I should have read the article first… Tau is actually 2 Pi, not literally 6.28. Oh well, I still appreciate the chance to wax lyrical (or limerickal, anyway) on the music of Pi…

  17. madkane says:

    Thanks so much everyone for your verse and kind words!

  18. Emily says:

    You are way to smart and clever for me. I hope we can still be friends!

  19. madkane says:

    LOL! Emily, but of course. :)