## Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi 311

Posted
by
samzenpus

from the less-common-core-math dept.

from the less-common-core-math dept.

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes

*"Imagine the following scenario. The end of civilization has occurred, zombies have taken over the Earth and all access to modern technology has ended. The few survivors suddenly need to know the value of pi and, being a mathematician, they turn to you. What do you do? According to a couple of Canadian mathematicians, the answer is to repeatedly fire a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun at a square aluminum target about 20 meters away. Then imagine that the square is inscribed with an arc drawn between opposite corners that maps out a quarter circle. If the sides of the square are equal to 1, then the area of the quarter circle is pi/4. Next, count the number of pellet holes that fall inside the area of the quarter circle as well as the total number of holes. The ratio between these is an estimate of the ratio between the area of the quarter circle and the area of a square, or in other words pi/4. So multiplying this number by 4 will give you an estimate of pi. That's a process known as a Monte Carlo approximation and it is complicated by factors such as the distribution of the pellets not being random. But the mathematicians show how to handle these too. The result? According to this method, pi is 3.13, which is just 0.33 per cent off the true value. Handy if you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world."*
## Drop stones in a circle (Score:2, Insightful)

Trace a circle on the ground and drop stones at it.

## um.... (Score:5, Insightful)

## Only in America... (Score:5, Insightful)

## Ask an old person? (Score:5, Insightful)

## Archimedes (Score:2, Insightful)

neither had nor needed a shotgun to calculate pi to 2 significant digits, which I'd wager is significantly closer than you're likely to get...

## Re:Only in America... (Score:1, Insightful)

Technically speaking Canada is a seperate nation on the continent America. So you can't actually claim for sure that it's misstated, just because USA is often considered the same as America.

## 2 tips for preppers (Score:5, Insightful)

## Re:Um, no? (Score:4, Insightful)

Im not clear how it could be "more efficient". Your average speed will be higher on the straight-aways, and no matter what shape you do you will have to mow the entire area of your lawn. How you fill it in doesnt change the amount needing to be done.

## Nothing special. (Score:4, Insightful)

## Re:So wait, shotguns are more accurate than the bi (Score:5, Insightful)

That's a lot of numerological bullshit. The truth is much simpler. The Bible says it's 10 cubits across and 30 cubits around. The diameter is provided with one significant figure, and the circumference is also provided with one significant figure. Dividing the two gives you pi... to one significant figure. Anyone who says "this proves that the Biblical authors thought pi = 3.00 [3 significant figures]" must not have done very well in physics class.

## Re:Um, no? (Score:4, Insightful)

And you waste a load of shotgun shells that are going to be extremely valuable in the post apocalypse.