Talking about √2 could have got you killed

00 hours 05 mins

Like many heroes of Greek myths, the philosopher Hippasus was rumored to have been mortally punished by the gods. But what was his crime? Did he murder guests or disrupt a sacred ritual? No, Hippasus's transgression was mathematically proving the hitherto unprovable. Ganesh Pai describes the history and math behind irrational numbers in this TED Ed lesson. 

Check this short quiz after watching.

For the demanding learners:

Pi is the most commonly known ‘special irrational number’. Watch this TED-Ed lesson: The infinite life of pi by Reynaldo Lopes for more. However, there are many other ‘special irrational numbers’ such as e and the golden ratio. Read: The other irrational numbers we could celebrate instead of pi to find out more about these numbers.

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