Friday, November 21, 2008


We all know about the square on the hypotenuse but it was only recently I found that the semicircle on the hypotenuse equals the sum of the semicircles on the other two sides. Presumably the equilateral triangle on the hypotenuse etc. etc.
Except - I suspect - it doesn't.
Pythagoras' Theorem only works with planar figures. On the larger scale (say, parts of the surface of the planet) the sum of the angles in a triangle is not 180o and I imagine that the square on the hypotenuse thingy is a bit of a non-starter too.
Of course, the greatest gift that Pythagoras gave us was an understanding of music.
They don't tell you that when you are trying to play F#m7 for the first time.
I'm going to have a look at the inverse square law over the weekend. It all looks a bit cosy to me.

1 comment:

GC said...

From a layman's perspective, I liked Pythagoras when he was in Monty's Flying Cirus.

But did Pythagoras actually play the Triangle I wonder? The most insidious of all musical instruments, which small children use to destroy your soul by pinging the stupid thing until your head explodes!

Anyway. Presumably, he didn't fully test his theory because he thought the world was flat and...err..hadn't been into space. Give the man a flippin' break!