Tau facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsGreek alphabet
Tau (uppercase/lowercase Τ τ), is the letter of the Greek alphabet, used to represent the "t" sound in Ancient and Modern Greek. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 300. Letters that came from it include the Roman T and Cyrillic Т.
Some people want to use Tau in place of Pi, the special number that comes from circles. Tau would be equal to two times pi, or about 6.283.
These people want to use Tau because they think it would be easier for everyone to understand. There are many reasons in math why Tau could be useful or helpful. One of the simplest is that it would make learning about radians easier.
A radian is a way of measuring the angle of a circle. It says that the number of radians in an angle is equal to the length of the outside of the circle, or the 'arc length', that is covered by an angle, divided by the radius, or distance from the point in the center of a circle to anywhere on the outside (see the picture on the bottom right of the page).
If the distance covered around the outside of a circle is equal to the radius, than one radian is being covered. Around the whole outside of a circle, there are about 6.283 radians - or, Tau radians (Tau is just a number, like 0, or 7, or 100).
The advantage of this is that one quarter of a circle would simply become Tau / 4 radians, and one half of a circle Tau / 2 radians, which is more in line with our intuition on circles (see also the drawing below).
Not many people use Tau yet, but more and more are.
Tau Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.