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​How Archimedes once calculated “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.

Archimedes observed that polygons drawn inside and outside a circle would have perimeters somewhat close to the circumference of the circle.



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Did you know the Greeks had an analogue computer?

Antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek analogue computer and orrery used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. It could also track the four-year cycle of athletic games which was similar to an Olympiad, the cycle of the ancient Olympic Games.

The instrument is believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek scientists and has been variously dated to about 87 BC, or between 150 and 100 BC, or to 205 BC.



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Did you know calculators came from the abacus?

The abacus first appeared about 5,000 years ago in Sumeria, and was eventually used by several ancient societies.

Prior to the advent of a modern numerical system, ancient users of the early form of the abacus were able to slide beads across a frame, which aided in both counting and simple calculations such as addition and subtraction.

Photo: replica of a Roman hand abacus from 1st century CE