Newton's Pi Approximation

This Demonstration gives Newton's approximation of based on calculating the area of a semicircle using an integral.
The area under the arc (light blue) is equal to the area of the sector minus the area of triangle (light green), that is, .
On the other hand, the semicircle has equation , so . Set and .
Therefore, .


  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


Newton presented to 16 decimal places using 20 terms of the binomial series [1, p. 177].
[1] W. Dunham, Journey through Genius, New York: Penguin Books, 1990 pp. 174–177.
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