After witnessing the of his beloved mentor, Aristocle (Plato) the son of a prominent and wealthy Athenian family, leaves home and travels around the Mediterranean. On his travels he learns from the Pythagoreans and beginnings to see mathematics as an important part of Philosophy and beneficial in teaching young students logical thought.
Plato was said to have challenged his students with the problem “if given a circle with radius 1, construct a square with the same area as the circle”. His students were only allowed the tools of the time, a straightedge ruler and a compass.
Since the radius of the circle is 1, this means that the area is . This means that one will have to construct a square with an area of or a square with sides of length . It is possible to construct values such as square roots, however it turns out to be impossible to construct .
Try as any of his students may, they could never find a way to construct . Today the “squaring the circle” problem has been proven to be impossible, meaning that with only a compass and a straight edge, one can never construct a line of distance .
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