From marleen: The following problem and the solution were found on a Babylonian tablet dating from about 2600BC:
60 is the Circumference, 2 is the perpendicular, find the chord.
Thou double 2 and get 4
Take 4 from 20, thou gettest 16
Square 16, thou gettest 256
Take 256 from 400, thou gettest 144
Whence the square root of 144, 12 is the chord.
Such is the procedure. Modern day mathematicians have reasoned that the Babylonian Mathematician who solved this problem assumed that the value of Pi is 3. By explaining in detail how the Babylonian Mathematician must have solved this problem, justify the reasoning of the modern mathematicians.
Answered by Stephen La Rocque.
Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.