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This is madness!

 
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Ivanhoe
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: This is madness! Reply with quote

Hello all,

Quick questions here. We were lecturing over the Giza pyramids in world civs this morning and the prof. mentioned that a mathmetician went mad studying the pyramids for 25 years. He is the one who discovered that Pie (3.14 not Apple Pie) was used in the construction. He didn't recall the name of the man and I am curious. I used to know his name as I was an Egyptian fanatic during my teenage years. I think Leonard Nemoy mentioned this in his "In Search Of" episode on the pyramids.

thanks in advance!
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There've been so many men who've carefully measured the Great Pyramid over the years. Flinders Petrie was one of the first to do it right, but by nature he was a perfectionist. Petrie went to Egypt in the first place to try to establish the validity of the theories of one Charles Piazzi Smythe, who had all sorts of wild notions and believed this pyramid was a scale model of the Earth's circumference. In the end Petrie proved Smythe dead wrong but went on to become one of the greatest Egyptologists in history.

I don't know myself of anyone going mad studying the mathematics of the Great Pyramid, but Sir Isaac Newton was another person intrigued by this edifice. He as well believed that a lot of the Earth's secrets were hidden in the measurements of the Great Pyramid (as did many people of his time), and I believe he did establish that Pi was involved in these measurements, but I think he survived the experience mentally intact.

Sorry I can't be of much more help. I don't know much about the math whizzes who have studied the Great Pyramid.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isaac Newton was interested in the Pyramids? And he thought pi was involved? Whoa. I saw that written elsewhere and thought it was something made up by pyramidiots to add an Egyptian slant to everything which didn't have one before. But then I remembered that Newton was also an alchemist who dabbled in the occult as well as a renowned scientist. but I never knew that he was into ancient Egypt too...
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently John Taylor was the one who discovered that if one divides the perimeter of the Pyramid by its height, one obtains a close approximation to 2pi. He came up with this in the 1850s.

see: http://www.math.washington.edu/~greenber/PiPyr.html

Some sites claim that Taylor was an amateur astronomer and mathematician.

I did find one source that explained that Taylor was a British amateur mathematician and astronomer who was editor of The London Observer.

There's a rather big difference between being a mathematician and being an amateur mathematician.

And not just because I'm a snobbish real mathematician myself Laughing

I have no idea if he really went mad or not.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have no idea if he really went mad or not.


LOL I thought at first you were talking about the John Taylor from the British Museum, one of my favorite Egyptologists. I see now that I was mistaken. Unless, that is, if the BM's John H. Taylor has been publishing since 1859? Probably not, eh.

But aren't all of you mathematicians just a bit mad to begin with? Very Happy

I must again compliment you on your internet research abilities. This question about the mathematician driven mad kind of interested me, so believe me, I looked and looked late last night before I finally gave up and responded to Ivanhoe's post with the scant information I already knew. Had I ever seen the name John Taylor mentioned, it would have jumped out at me (because of the Egyptologist, that is).

Where would we be without you?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But aren't all of you mathematicians just a bit mad to begin with?

LOL You don't have to be mad, but it sure helps? Smile


Quote:
Where would we be without you?

Thanks Wink But from what I have seen when I was gone, everyone does just fine and dandy without me.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
LOL You don't have to be mad, but it sure helps?


That's probably true for any job. I know I must be a bit mad for working for my boss for five years. #Silly

Quote:
Thanks But from what I have seen when I was gone, everyone does just fine and dandy without me.


It just appears that way. When you're gone we just wing it.
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Ivanhoe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your time! If anyone has a copy of the "In Search Of" episode, I believe this does tell the answer. However, this has been so long and I have read so many books and seen so many documentaries that my memory is quite mixed up in this issue.

Thanks again!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If anyone has a copy of the "In Search Of" episode, I believe this does tell the answer.


To be honest I don't even remember that show (too much TV, period, and my mind is quite mixed up...yeah, that's right, blame TV). I'm glad we were of some assistance to you, Ivanhoe. Wink
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