Squaring the Circle
Squaring the Circle Using a Special Kind of Polygon Based on the "Holy Triangle" 3-4-5and a Sequence of Further So-called Pythagorean Triples - A Method ProbablyDiscovered by Imhotep and Refined by the Unknown Builder of the Great Pyramid atGizaby Franz Gnaedinger, Zuerich 1996Please imagine a square inscribed in a circle. Let the square pass over into an octagon, aregular 16-gon, 32-gon, 64-gon ... As the number of corners increases the polygon slowlyconverges with the circle. The side lengths, perimeters and areas of the subsequentfigures can be calculated by repeatedly applying the formula of Pythagoras andcomputing a chain of square roots which gets longer and longer. This method of "squaring the circle" was discovered by Antiphon of Athens (c.430 BC) and furtherdeveloped by Archimedes of Syracuse (283-212 BC) who found that the ratio of thecircumference of the circle to its diameter is less than 3 1/7 and greater than 3 10/71.Archimedes even wrote a book on the circle, which was lost while his method survived.In his lost work he must have mentioned Antiphon and his many other precursors, amongthem Deinostratus, Hippias of Elis, Hippocrates of Chios, Bryson of Herakleia,Anaxagoras of Clezomenae and perhaps some others by now forgotten. I wonder if healso knew of a simpler and probably much older way of solving the problem, a methodbased on the Holy Triangle 3-4-5 and a sequence of further triples which satisfy theformula axa + bxb = cxc. This formula is known under the name of Pythagoras while thetriples of whole numbers which are derived from it are called Pythagorean triples.However, such triples had already been used in ancient Mesopotamia as early as 2000BC, and even earlier by the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt, first of all by Imhotep, themost ingenious vizier and architect of Pharaoh Djoser who reigned around 2600 BC andhad built for his glory and eternal life the monumental yet also beautiful and evengraceful Step Pyramid Complex at Saqqara near the former city of Memphis.
A new way to square the circle that may have been a very old one
Please imagine a circle of radius 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 ... = 5, 25, 125, 625 ... units or subunits.Combine the circle with the cross of the axes and a grid of 10 x 10, 50 x 50, 250 x 250,1250 x 1250 ... squares. The axes define the center of the circle and 4 points of theperiphery. 8, 12, 20, 28 ... further points are defined by the following triples beginningwith the Holy Triangle:
3-4-5 = 15-20-25 = 75-100-125 = 275-500-625 ...7-24-25 = 35-120-125 = 175-600-625 ...44-117-125 = 220-585-625 ...336-527-625 ...
The subsequent triples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... can be derived using two rather simple formulas:
triples 1, 3, 5 ... be termed a-b-c (a smaller than b)triples 2, 4, 6 ... be termed A-B-C (A smaller than B)