Printed 2017/08/16 09:41AM

Measuring pi by throwing frozen hot dogs?


I saw this today on my Google front page under the How To section:

How to Calculate Pi by Throwing Frozen Hot Dogs

And the first thing that came to mind was, "Would this work?" As an adult and a father of three small children, my thought should have been, "Why are we wasting perfectly good food?" But admittedly, the first question is what popped in my head. Needless to say, I had to read the article. It's a pretty interesting take on how to approximate pi. It's crazy enough for me to consider trying with the boys. We've got a big field (belonging to an elementary school but it's used by the community when school isn't in session) right across the street from the house. Hmmmm. I would have to use pegs and string, but I already have that.

Admittedly, the other question that came to mind after reading the article is, "Why multiple by 2?" It's part of the equation to calculate pi. The explanation is given in a link on the page. The hotdogs experiment is actually a variation on what is known as Buffon's Needle Problem.

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