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Archimedes' Approximation of Pi

One of the major contributions Archimedes made to mathematics was his method for
approximating the value of pi. It had long been recognized that the ratio of the
circumference of a circle to its diameter was constant, and a number of
approximations had been given up to that point in time by the Babylonians, Egyptians,
and even the Chinese. There are some authors who claim that a biblical passage
implies an approximate value of 3 (and in fact there is an interesting story
with that).
At any rate, the method used by Archimedes differs from earlier approximations in a
fundamental way. Earlier schemes for approximating pi simply gave an approximate
value, usually based on comparing the area or perimeter of a certain polygon with that
of a circle. Archimedes' method is new in that it is an iterative process, whereby one
can get as accurate an approximation as desired by repeating the process, using the
previous estimate of pi to obtain a new one. This is a new feature of Greek
mathematics, although it has an ancient tradition among the Chinese in their methods
for approximating square roots.
Archimedes' method, as he did it originally, skips over a lot of computational steps,
and is not fully explained, so authors of history of math books have often presented
slight variations on his method to make it easier to follow. Here we will try to stick to
the original as much as possible, following essentially Heath's translation

The Approximation of Pi
The method of Archimedes involves approximating pi by the perimeters of polygons
inscribed and circumscribed about a given circle. Rather than trying to measure the
polygons one at a time, Archimedes uses a theorem of Euclid to develop a numerical
procedure for calculating the perimeter of a circumscribing polygon of 2n sides, once
the perimeter of the polygon of n sides is known. Then, beginning with a
circumscribing hexagon, he uses his formula to calculate the perimeters of
circumscribing polygons of 12, 24, 48, and finally 96 sides. He then repeats the
process using inscribing polygons (after developing the corresponding formula). The
truly unique aspect of Archimedes' procedure is that he has eliminated the geometry
and reduced it to a completely arithmetical procedure, something that probably would
have horrified Plato but was actually common practice in Eastern cultures, particularly
among the Chinese scholars.

The Key Theorem
The key result used by Archimedes is Proposition 3 of Book VI of Euclid's Elements.
The full statement of the theorem is as follows:

If an angle of a triangle be bisected and the straight line cutting the angle cut the base
also, the segments of the base will have the same ratio as the remaining sides of the
triangle; and, if the segments of the base have the same ratio as the remaining sides of
the triangle, the straight line joined from the vertex to the point of section will bisect
the angle of the triangle.

We will just prove one direction of this theorem here, namely that the angle bisector
cuts the opposite side in the ratio claimed. More precisely, in the diagram shown,
if AD bisects angle BAC, then BD : CD =BA : AC.

Animated GIF Proof
Theorem (99K)
QuickTime Video Proof of
Theorem (243K)

Our proof differs from the original somewhat: the proof (and diagram) given here
makes it more clear how Archimedes will use the theorem in his approximation
scheme. For Euclid's original, complete proof, along with a very neat interactive
diagram, see David Joyce's Elements Web site.

Archimedes' Method
Here we outline the method used by Archimedes to approximate pi. The specific
statement of Archimedes is Proposition 3 of his treatise Measurement of a Circle:
The ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter is less than 3
greater than 3
The proof we give below essentially follows that of Archimedes, as set out in Heath's
. Much of the text skips over steps in the proof; rather than adding
intermediate steps as Heath does
, we are putting those in pop-up windows. Look for
buttons like this: . Clicking on these will bring up pop-up windows showing
intermediate steps that Archimedes has left out of this text (HTGT stands for How'd
They Get That?).
[Note: throughout this proof, Archimedes uses several rational approximations to
various square roots. Nowhere does he say how he got those approximations--they are
simply stated without any explanation--so how he came up with some of these is
anybody's guess.]

I. Let AB be the diameter of any circle, O its center, AC the tangent at A; and let the
angle AOC be one-third of a right angle.
(1) OA : AC > 265 : 153
(2) OC : AC = 306 : 153.
First, draw OD bisecting the angle AOC and meeting AC in D.
CO : OA = CD : DA
so that
(CO + OA) : CA = OA : AD
(3) OA : AD > 571 : 153.
: AD
> 349450 : 23409
so that
(4) OD : DA > 591
: 153.
Secondly, let OE bisect the angle AOD, meeting AD in E.
(5) OA : AE > 1162
: 153
(6) OE : EA > 1172
: 153.
Thirdly, let OF bisect the angle AOE and meet AE in F.
We thus obtain the result that
(7) OA : AF > 2334
: 153
(8) OF : FA > 2339
: 153.
Fourthly, let OG bisect the angle AOF, meeting AF in G.
We have then
OA : AG > 4673
: 153.
Now the angle AOC, which is one-third of a right angle, has been bisected four
times, and it follows that angle AOG = 1/48 (a right angle).
Make the angle AOH on the other side of OA equal to the angle AOG, and
let GA produced meet OH in H.
Then angle GOH = 1/24 (a right angle).
Thus GH is one side of a regular polygon of 96 sides circumscribed to the given
And, since
OA : AG > 4673
: 153,
AB = 2 OA, GH = 2 AG,
it follows that
AB : (perimeter of a polygon of 96 sides) > 4673

Therefore the circumference of the circle (being less than the perimeter of the polygon)
is a fortiori less than 3 1/7 times the diameter AB.

II. Next let AB be the diameter of a circle, and let AC, meeting the circle in C, make
the angle CAB equal to one-third of a right angle. Join BC.
AC : BC < 1351 : 780.
First, let AD bisect the angle BAC and meet BC in d and the circle in D. Join BD.
angle BAD = angle dAC = angle dBD
and the angles at D, C are both right angles. It follows that the triangles ADB, BDd
are similar.
AD : BD = BD : Dd = AB : Bd
= (AB + AC) : (Bd + Cd)
= (AB + AC) : BC
or (BA + AC) : BC = AD : DB.
(1) AD : DB < 2911 : 780.
(2) AB : BD < 3013
: 780.

Secondly, let AE bisect the angle BAD, meeting the circle in E; and let BE be joined.
Then we prove, in the same way as before, that
(3) AE : EB < 5924
: 780 = 1823 : 240.
(4) AB : BE < 1838
: 240.
Thirdly, let AF bisect the angle BAE, meeting the circle in F.
(5) AF : FB < 3661
: 240 x

= 1007 : 66.
(6) AB : BF < 1009
: 66.
Fourthly, let the angle BAF be bisected by AG meeting the circle in G.
AG : GB < 2016
: 66, by (5) and (6).
(7) AB : BG < 2017
: 66.
Therefore BG is a side of a regular inscribed polygon of 96 sides.
It follows from (7) that
(perimeter of polygon) : AB > 6336 : 2017
And .
Much more then is the circumference to the diameter
< 3
but > 3

Paradoks Zeno - Ketakhinggaan dalam Keberhinggaan
Paradoks Zeno yang paling terkenal dalam sejarah Yunani dan juga matematika adalah paradoks
Achilles dan Kura-kura. Terkenal karena orang Yunani gagal menjelaskan paradoks ini. Walau sekarang
terkesan tidak terlalu sulit, tapi butuh waktu ribuan tahun sebelum matematikawan dapat menjelaskannya.
Paradoks Achilles dan kura-kura kira-kira seperti ini :

Pelari tercepat (A) tidak akan bisa mendahului pelari yang lebih lambat (B). Hal ini terjadi karena A harus
berada pada titik B mula-mula, sementara B sudah meninggalkan (berada di depan) titik tersebut.

Zeno menganalogikan paradoks ini dengan membayangkan lomba lari Achilles dan seekor kura-kura.
Keduanya dianggap lari dengan kecepatan konstan dan kura-kura sudah tentu jauh lebih lambat. Untuk
itu, si kura-kura diberi keuntungan dengan start awal di depan, katakanlah 10 meter. Ketika lomba sudah
dimulai, Achilles akan mencapai titik 10 m (titik di mana kura-kura mula-mula). Tetapi si kura ini juga pasti
sudah melangkah maju, jauh lebih lambat memang, katakanlah dia baru melangkah 1 meter. Beberapa
saat kemudian Achilles berada di titik 11m, tapi si kura lagi-lagi udah melangkah maju 0,1 m. Demikian
seterusnya, setiap kali Achilles berada pada titik di mana kura-kura tadinya berada, si kura-kura sudah
melangkah lebih maju. Artinya, Achilles, secepat apa pun dia berlari tidak akan bisa mendahului kura-
kura (selambat apa pun dia melangkah).

Secara konteks percakapan, kira-kira begini:

kura2: "Jika aku mulai beberapa meter di depanmu, pasti aku menang, Achilles."

Achilles: "Hahaha... Dasar kura-kura. Kamu ingin berapa meter di depanku?"

kura2: "10 meter"

Achilles: "Baiklah, aku dapat mencapai 10 meter dalam satu detik"

kura2: "Tapi dalam satu detik itu aku sudah maju lagi kan?"

Achilles: "Ya, paling hanya 1 meter krn kecepatanmu 1m per detik. sedangkan Aku dapat maju 1 meter
dengan 0,1 detik"

kura2: "Tapi dlm 0,1 detik itu aku sudah maju lagi kan?"

Achilles: "Hm.. Ya" (Achilles mulai ragu)

kura2: "Ini akan terjadi terus menerus, sehingga aku terus berada di depanmu."

Achilles: "Baiklah, kau menang kura-kura. Aku menyerah."

Achilles yang malang ... Dia terjebak dalam logika ketakhinggaan kura-kura ...

i. The Achilles
Achilles, who is the fastest runner of antiquity, is racing to catch the tortoise that is slowly crawling
away from him. Both are moving along a linear path at constant speeds. In order to catch the tortoise,
Achilles will have to reach the place where the tortoise presently is. However, by the time Achilles
gets there, the tortoise will have crawled to a new location. Achilles will then have to reach this new
location. By the time Achilles reaches that location, the tortoise will have moved on to yet another
location, and so on forever. Zeno claims Achilles will never catch the tortoise. He might have
defended this conclusion in various waysby saying it is because the sequence of goals or locations
has no final member, or requires too much distance to travel, or requires too much travel time, or
requires too many tasks. However, if we do believe that Achilles succeeds and that motion is possible,
then we are victims of illusion, as Parmenides says we are.
The source for Zenos views is Aristotle (Physics 239b14-16) and some passages from Simplicius in
the fifth century C.E. There is no evidence that Zeno used a tortoise rather than a slow human. The
tortoise is a commentators addition. Aristotle spoke simply of the runner who competes with
It wont do to react and say the solution to the paradox is that there are biological limitations on how
small a step Achilles can take. Achilles feet arent obligated to stop and start again at each of the
locations described above, so there is no limit to how close one of those locations can be to another.
It is best to think of the change from one location to another as a movement rather than as
incremental steps requiring halting and starting again. Zeno is assuming that space and time are
infinitely divisible; they are not discrete or atomistic. If they were, the Paradoxs argument would not
One common complaint with Zenos reasoning is that he is setting up a straw man because it is
obvious that Achilles cannot catch the tortoise if he continually takes a bad aim toward the place
where the tortoise is; he should aim farther ahead. The mistake in this complaint is that even if
Achilles took some sort of better aim, it is still true that he is required to go to every one of those
locations that are the goals of the so-called bad aims, so Zenos argument needs a better treatment.
The treatment called the Standard Solution to the Achilles Paradox uses calculus and other parts of
real analysis to describe the situation. It implies that Zeno is assuming in the Achilles situation that
Achilles cannot achieve his goal because
(1) there is too far to run, or
(2) there is not enough time, or
(3) there are too many places to go, or
(4) there is no final step, or
(5) there are too many tasks.
The historical record does not tell us which of these was Zenos real assumption, but they are all false
assumptions, according to the Standard Solution. Lets consider (1). Presumably Zeno would defend
the assumption by remarking that the sum of the distances along so many of the runs to where the
tortoise is must be infinite, which is too much for even Achilles. However, the advocate of the
Standard Solution will remark, How does Zeno know what the sum of this infinite series is?
According to the Standard Solution the sum is not infinite. Here is a graph using the methods of the
Standard Solution showing the activity of Achilles as he chases the tortoise and overtakes it.

To describe this graph in more detail, we need to say that Achilles path [the path of some
dimensionless point of Achilles' body] is a linear continuum and so is composed of an actual infinity
of points. (An actual infinity is also called a completed infinity or transfinite infinity, and the
word actual does not mean real as opposed to imaginary.) Since Zeno doesnt make this
assumption, that is another source of error in Zenos reasoning. Achilles travels a distance d1 in
reaching the point x1 where the tortoise starts, but by the time Achilles reaches x1, the tortoise has
moved on to a new point x2. When Achilles reaches x2, having gone an additional distance d2, the
tortoise has moved on to point x3, requiring Achilles to cover an additional distance d3, and so forth.
This sequence of non-overlapping distances (or intervals or sub-paths) is an actual infinity, but
happily the geometric series converges. The sum of its terms d1 + d2 + d3 + is a finite distance that
Achilles can readily complete while moving at a constant speed.
Similar reasoning would apply if Zeno were to have made assumption (2) or (3). Regarding (4), the
requirement that there be a final step or final sub-path is simply mistaken, according to the Standard
Solution. More will be said about assumption (5) in Section 5c.
By the way, the Paradox does not require the tortoise to crawl at a constant speed but only to never
stop crawling and for Achilles to travel faster on average than the tortoise. The assumption of
constant speed is made simply for ease of understanding.
The Achilles Argument presumes that space and time are infinitely divisible. So, Zenos conclusion
may not simply have been that Achilles cannot catch the tortoise but instead that he cannot catch the
tortoise if space and time are infinitely divisible. Perhaps, as some commentators have speculated,
Zeno used the Achilles only to attack continuous space, and he intended his other paradoxes such as
The Moving Rows to attack discrete space. The historical record is not clear. Notice that, although
space and time are infinitely divisible for Zeno, he did not have the concepts to properly describe the
limit of the infinite division. Neither Zeno nor any of the other ancient Greeks had the concept of a
dimensionless point; they did not even have the concept of zero. However, todays versions of Zenos
Paradoxes can and do use those concepts.
ii. The Dichotomy (The Racetrack)
In his Progressive Dichotomy Paradox, Zeno argued that a runner will never reach the stationary
goal line of a racetrack. The reason is that the runner must first reach half the distance to the goal,
but when there he must still cross half the remaining distance to the goal, but having done that the
runner must cover half of the new remainder, and so on. If the goal is one meter away, the runner
must cover a distance of 1/2 meter, then 1/4 meter, then 1/8 meter, and so on ad infinitum. The
runner cannot reach the final goal, says Zeno. Why not? There are few traces of Zenos reasoning
here, but for reconstructions that give the strongest reasoning, we may say that the runner will not
reach the final goal because there is too far to run, the sum is actually infinite. The Standard Solution
argues instead that the sum of this infinite geometric series is one, not infinity.
The problem of the runner getting to the goal can be viewed from a different perspective. According
to the Regressive version of the Dichotomy Paradox, the runner cannot even take a first step. Here is
why. Any step may be divided conceptually into a first half and a second half. Before taking a full step,
the runner must take a 1/2 step, but before that he must take a 1/4 step, but before that a 1/8 step,
and so forth ad infinitum, so Achilles will never get going. Like the Achilles Paradox, this paradox
also concludes that any motion is impossible. The original source is Aristotle (Physics, 239b11-13).
The Dichotomy paradox, in either its Progressive version or its Regressive version, assumes for the
sake of simplicity that the runners positions are point places. Actual runners take up some larger
volume, but assuming point places is not a controversial assumption because Zeno could have
reconstructed his paradox by speaking of the point places occupied by, say, the tip of the runners
nose, and this assumption makes for a strong paradox than assuming the runners position are larger.
In the Dichotomy Paradox, the runner reaches the points 1/2 and 3/4 and 7/8 and so forth on the
way to his goal, but under the influence of Bolzano and Dedekind and Cantor, who developed the
first theory of sets, the set of those points is no longer considered to be potentially infinite. It is an
actually infinite set of points abstracted from a continuum of pointsin the contemporary sense of
continuum at the heart of calculus. And the ancient idea that the actually infinite series of path
lengths or segments 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + is infinite had to be rejected in favor of the new theory that
it converges to 1. This is key to solving the Dichotomy Paradox, according to the Standard Solution. It
is basically the same treatment as that given to the Achilles. The Dichotomy Paradox has been called
The Stadium by some commentators, but that name is also commonly used for the Paradox of the
Moving Rows.
Aristotle, in Physics Z9, said of the Dichotomy that it is possible for a runner to come in contact with
a potentially infinite number of things in a finite time provided the time intervals becomes shorter
and shorter. Aristotle said Zeno assumed this is impossible, and that is one of his errors in the
Dichotomy. However, Aristotle merely asserted this and could give no detailed theory that enables
the computation of the finite amount of time. So, Aristotle could not really defend his diagnosis of
Zenos error. Today the calculus is used to provide the Standard Solution with that detailed theory.
There is another detail of the Dichotomy that needs resolution. How does Zeno complete the trip if
there is no final step or last member of the infinite sequence of steps (intervals and goals)? Dont
trips need last steps? The Standard Solution answers no and says the intuitive answer yes is one
of our many intuitions that must be rejected when embracing the Standard Solution.
iii. The Arrow
Zenos Arrow Paradox takes a different approach to challenging the coherence of our common sense
concepts of time and motion. As Aristotle explains, from Zenos assumption that time is composed
of moments, a moving arrow must occupy a space equal to itself during any moment. That is, during
any moment it is at the place where it is. But places do not move. So, if in each moment, the arrow is
occupying a space equal to itself, then the arrow is not moving in that moment because it has no time
in which to move; it is simply there at the place. The same holds for any other moment during the so-
called flight of the arrow. So, the arrow is never moving. Similarly, nothing else moves. The source
for Zenos argument is Aristotle (Physics, 239b5-32).
The Standard Solution to the Arrow Paradox uses the at-at theory of motion, which says motion is
beingat different places at different times and that being at rest involves being motionless at a
particular pointat a particular time. The difference between rest and motion has to do with what is
happening at nearby moments and has nothing to do with what is happening during a moment. An
object cannot be in motionin or during an instant, but it can be in motion at an instant in the sense
of having a speed at that instant, provided the object occupies different positions at times before or
after that instant so that the instant is part of a period in which the arrow is continuously in motion.
If we dont pay attention to what happens at nearby instants, it is impossible to distinguish
instantaneous motion from instantaneous rest, but distinguishing the two is the way out of the Arrow
Paradox. Zeno would have balked at the idea of motionat an instant, and Aristotle explicitly denied it.
The Arrow Paradox seems especially strong to someone who would say that motion is an intrinsic
property of an instant, being some propensity or disposition to be elsewhere.
In standard calculus, speed of an object at an instant (instantaneous velocity) is the time derivative
of the objects position; this means the objects speed is the limit of its speeds during arbitrarily small
intervals of time containing the instant. Equivalently, we say the objects speed is the limit of its
speed over an interval as the length of the interval tends to zero. The derivative of position x with
respect to time t, namely dx/dt, is the arrows speed, and it has non-zero values at specific
places at specific instants during the flight, contra Zeno and Aristotle. The speed during an instant
or in an instant, which is what Zeno is calling for, would be 0/0 and so be undefined. Using these
modern concepts, Zeno cannot successfully argue that at each moment the arrow is at rest or that the
speed of the arrow is zero at every instant. Therefore, advocates of the Standard Solution conclude
that Zenos Arrow Paradox has a false, but crucial, assumption and so is unsound.
Independently of Zeno, the Arrow Paradox was discovered by the Chinese dialectician Kung-sun
Lung (Gongsun Long, ca. 325250 B.C.E.). A lingering philosophical question about the arrow
paradox is whether there is a way to properly refute Zenos argument that motion is impossible
without using the apparatus of calculus.
iv. The Moving Rows (The Stadium)
It takes a body moving at a given speed a certain amount of time to traverse a body of a fixed length.
Passing the body again at that speed will take the same amount of time, provided the bodys length
stays fixed. Zeno challenged this common reasoning. According to Aristotle (Physics 239b33-
240a18), Zeno considered bodies of equal length aligned along three parallel racetracks within a
stadium. One track contains A bodies (three A bodies are shown below); another contains B bodies;
and a third contains C bodies. Each body is the same distance from its neighbors along its track. The
A bodies are stationary, but the Bs are moving to the right, and the Cs are moving with the same
speed to the left. Here are two snapshots of the situation, before and after.

Zeno points out that, in the time between the before-snapshot and the after-snapshot, the leftmost C
passes two Bs but only one A, contradicting the common sense assumption that the C should take
longer to pass two Bs than one A. The usual way out of this paradox is to remark that Zeno
mistakenly supposes that a moving body passes both moving and stationary objects with equal speed.
Aristotle argues that how long it takes to pass a body depends on the speed of the body; for example,
if the body is coming towards you, then you can pass it in less time than if it is stationary. Todays
analysts agree with Aristotles diagnosis, and historically this paradox of motion has seemed weaker
than the previous three. This paradox is also called The Stadium, but occasionally so is the
Dichotomy Paradox.
Some analysts, such as Tannery (1887), believe Zeno may have had in mind that the paradox was
supposed to have assumed that space and time are discrete (quantized, atomized) as opposed to
continuous, and Zeno intended his argument to challenge the coherence of this assumption about
discrete space and time. Well, the paradox could be interpreted this way. Assume the three objects
are adjacent to each other in their tracks or spaces; that is, the middle object is only one atom of
space away from its neighbors. Then, if the Cs were moving at a speed of, say, one atom of space in
one atom of time, the leftmost C would pass two atoms of B-space in the time it passed one atom of
A-space, which is a contradiction to our assumption that the Cs move at a rate of one atom of space
in one atom of time. Or else wed have to say that in that atom of time, the leftmost C somehow got
beyond two Bs by passing only one of them, which is also absurd (according to Zeno). Interpreted
this way, Zenos argument produces a challenge to the idea that space and time are discrete. However,
most commentators believe Zeno himself did not interpret his paradox this way.

Achilles, yang pelari terpantas kuno, berlumba untuk menangkap kura-kura yang perlahan-lahan
merangkak daripadanya. Kedua-duanya bergerak di sepanjang jalan yang linear pada kelajuan malar.
Dalam usaha untuk menangkap kura-kura, Achilles perlu sampai di tempat yang di mana kura-kura kini
adalah. Walau bagaimanapun, dalam masa yang Achilles mendapat di sana, kura-kura akan telah
merangkak ke lokasi baru. Achilles akan mempunyai untuk mencapai lokasi baru ini. Apabila sampai
Achilles lokasi itu, kura-kura akan telah berpindah ke lokasi yang lain belum, dan sebagainya selama-
lamanya. Zeno mendakwa Achilles tidak akan menangkap kura-kura. Beliau mungkin telah
mempertahankan kesimpulan ini dalam pelbagai cara-dengan mengatakan ia adalah kerana urutan
matlamat atau lokasi tidak mempunyai ahli akhir, atau memerlukan jarak terlalu banyak untuk
melakukan perjalanan, atau memerlukan masa perjalanan terlalu banyak, atau memerlukan terlalu
banyak tugas. Walau bagaimanapun, jika kita percaya bahawa Achilles berjaya dan pergerakan yang
mungkin, maka kita menjadi mangsa ilusi, sebagai Parmenides kata kita. Sumber untuk pandangan Zeno
ialah Aristotle (Fizik 239b14-16) dan beberapa petikan dari Simplicius pada abad kelima CE Tidak ada
bukti bahawa Zeno digunakan kura-kura dan bukannya manusia yang perlahan. Kura-kura adalah
tambahan yang pengulas. Aristotle bercakap hanya dari "pelari" yang bersaing dengan Achilles. Ia tidak
akan lakukan untuk bertindak balas dan berkata penyelesaian untuk paradoks adalah bahawa terdapat
had biologi bagaimana kecil langkah Achilles boleh mengambil. Kaki Achilles 'tidak diwajibkan untuk
berhenti dan bermula sekali lagi di setiap lokasi yang dinyatakan di atas, maka tidak ada had berapa
rapat salah satu lokasi yang boleh kepada yang lain. Adalah lebih baik untuk memikirkan perubahan dari
satu lokasi ke lokasi lain sebagai pergerakan bukan langkah yang memerlukan tambahan terhenti-henti
dan bermula sekali lagi. Zeno adalah menganggap bahawa ruang dan masa adalah tak terhingga
dibahagikan; mereka tidak diskret atau atomistik. Jika mereka, hujah Paradox tidak akan bekerja. Salah
satu aduan yang sama dengan hujah Zeno ialah beliau menubuhkan seorang lelaki jerami kerana ia
adalah jelas bahawa Achilles tidak boleh menangkap kura-kura itu jika dia terus mengambil tujuan yang
tidak baik ke arah tempat di mana kura-kura adalah; dia harus berusaha lebih jauh ke hadapan.
Kesilapan dalam aduan ini adalah bahawa walaupun Achilles mengambil beberapa jenis matlamat yang
lebih baik, ia masih benar bahawa dia dikehendaki untuk pergi ke setiap salah satu daripada lokasi yang
matlamat yang dipanggil "matlamat tidak baik," demikian hujah Zeno ini memerlukan rawatan yang
lebih baik. Rawatan yang dikenali sebagai "Penyelesaian Standard" kepada Achilles Paradox
menggunakan kalkulus dan bahagian-bahagian lain analisis sebenar untuk menggambarkan keadaan. Ia
membayangkan bahawa Zeno adalah andaian dalam keadaan Achilles Achilles yang tidak dapat
mencapai matlamatnya kerana
(1) terdapat terlalu jauh untuk menjalankan, atau
(2) tidak ada masa yang cukup, atau
(3) terdapat terlalu banyak tempat untuk pergi, atau
(4) tiada Langkah terakhir, atau
(5) terdapat terlalu banyak tugas.