Take your calculator – it has to have a factorial function (n!). Punch in 0.5, and then hit the factorial key (n!). Then hit the square function key (x2). Then multiply the result by 4. Do you recognize the final result? That’s right – Pi!!
Check out this video for a demonstration and an explanation:
WOW! I have to admit that I failed on this one, so don’t feel bad if you do too!
I am not sure why this math trick works so well. I think it might be because your brain is conditioned into a calculation mode that causes you to come up with an incorrect figure, even though you believe it to be correct. Did you get it right, or were you fooled too?
Donald in Mathmagic Land is a short animated film released in the summer of 1959. What a great way to be introduced to the awesome world of mathematics! As Walt Disney said, “The cartoon is a good medium to stimulate interest.”
Here is the film:
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