The Pi=4 Theory

Quantitatively, this may be THE biggest error in all of math and physics, since every single physical equation with pi in it must now be thrown out and redone.” — Miles Mathis

The pi=4 theory is the crown jewel of crackpottery. This theory alone has elevated Mathis from an obscure, struggling artist and ballet dancer, to undisputed king of the crackpots.

The theory in its entirety consists of five articles (nearly 40 pages), and one simple diagram:

What is Pi?
The Extinction of Pi
The Short Version Proof
Proof from NASA that Pi is 4
The Manhattan Metric


The gist of the theory basically boils down to this. Draw little stair-steps around the outside of a circle, and then pretend that the curve and the stair-steps are actually one and the same:

The arc is defined as a curve composed of linear or straight vectors.” — Miles Mathis

So curves are composed of little stair-steps. That’s it. That’s the entire theory in a nutshell. Well that, and other assorted silliness and hogwash.

This theory is without doubt the most outlandish and absurd nonsense that Mathis, or any other crank, has ever produced; this is crackpottery on steroids. The sheer volume of errors in the theory prohibits me from listing them all; there is far too many for that. So here is just a partial list of errors found in this idiotic and perposterous theory:

1) Pi is not a unitless constant, it is an acceleration and has units of (m/s2).
2) Pi has two values: 3.14 and 4 (static and kinematic, respectively).
3) The ‘radius’ is a velocity and has units of (m/s).
4) The circumference is not a length, it has units of (m2/s3).
5) The circumference can have three different values: 4r, 8r, and 2πr.
6) A circle is composed of only straight lines, no curves; stair-steps.
7) Time is “embedded in the curve” and adds to its length.
8) The “short version proof” does not contain a time variable or any motion whatsoever; it is a static geometric proof, not kinematic.
9) The tangent line is never taken to a limit, as claimed; the chord was taken to a limit, not the tangent.
10) The chord is converted into its x and y components, which are then illegally summed together creating a new, longer length.
11) The tangent is substituted into the “short version proof” illegally.
12) Newton monitored the wrong angle in Lemma 6 of the Principia.
13) NASA is hiding information relating to pi — predictably, a conspiracy theory.

Putting aside the myriad mathematical and definitional errors, what ultimately sinks the theory is that pi can readily be determined by directly measuring the circumference and diameter of any circle. Now if pi were to change from 3.14 to 4 based on motion alone, as Mathis contends, then we could easily observe and measure this change. For instance: toggling a phonograph turntable on and off would produce a detectable change (approximately a 27% increase) in the length of the circumference; which doesn’t occur. So the theory is at odds with the data and fails via direct measurement.

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is; it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” — Richard Feynman

Ex Falso (Mathis Watchblog)
Good Math, Bad Math
Sheer Lunacy (Kevin Bos)
Mishmash of Crackpottery (Michael Norris)
Mathis and pi
New Math by Miles Mathis
Miles Mathis Interview
Sagacity’s Sentinel
Pure Crackpot (R Dowdall)
The Wisdom of Miles Mathis
FQXi Forum (Steven Oostdijk)
Beyond Parody (Crackpotwatch)
Lack of Imagination and Pi
Alien Anomalies (Joaquin Hermon)
Crackpottery (L Butler)
Miles Mathis Revolution (Facebook)
The Work of Miles Williams Mathis (Facebook)
Something Mathis Missed (Crackpotwatch)
On Trying To See Reality (Thomas Burwell)
Fake Science For Low-Information Conspiracy Believers (Michael Norris)

Note: This paper was last revised on June 4, 2015


44 thoughts on “The Pi=4 Theory

  1. Hey Steve,

    Your do not seem to follow Miles closely anymore last years. Other assignments perhaps?

    How about this Pi=4 experiment to clear up your confusion?:


  2. From the horse’s mouth:

    Why should it be so important that my book is introduced by a NASA astrophysicist? As a matter of science, such a vouching should be both unnecessary and illogical. As a matter of science, the book must either stand or fall on its own merits, and no amount of praise or censure will matter in the long run. My papers are either true or false, and if they are true, it will not matter who thinks they are false. If they are false it will not matter who thinks they are true. Introductions are useful only for those who can’t comprehend the book itself. They then judge the contents by the introduction. It is science by vouching.

    it makes sense to the unbias among us, the rest of you are simply jealous.

    • Anyone who asserts that they are unbiased when defending some belief system is, 100% of the time, 100% biased. It’s the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. It doesn’t help that Tahir Yaqoob, the illustrious NASA astrophysicist whom MM fooled into “endorsing” his book, has all but completely denounced the work: “I do not endorse his methods or conclusions. I still have issues with pretty much every article in his book.”

  3. My mathematical proof that pi actually = 2.0, in the style of Miles Mathis:

    1. Consider a circle with circumference c.
    2. Two points on opposite sides, a and b, are the endpoints of the diameter, d. d = ab.
    3. Grab a and b and stretch the circle so that it collapses into one dimension. The diameter d of the one-dimensional circle remains ab.
    4. I will be told that ab is no longer the diameter. This results from the failure to monitor the diameter during the stretching. Dynamically, the diameter, as it is being stretched in time, is the velocity v = ab / t.
    5. What, are you stupid or something?
    6. In one dimension, ab is also half the circumference c, therefore, c = 2ab.
    7. Since c = 2ab and d = ab, c = 2d. (“2d” indicates that this also holds in two dimensions.)
    8. Checkmate!

  4. You fail to understand the concept. He just states that in euclidean geometry Pi = 3.14… and in taxicab geometry Pi = 4. There’s nothing wrong with these statements, these are just 2 different interpretations.
    Computations from machines are more related to taxi cab geometry than euclidean geometry. If you add other theories like “Universe Simulation” this is not so absurd! What is absurd is you, failing to accept other point of view, as if I knew exactly how the Universe works! Is because of these kind of thoughts and dogmas that science is stalling.

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  6. I also don’t know what he means by “industrialists” and why he distinguishes them from the bourgeoisie. It’s the monopoly ruling class that own industry. Marxism is the mortal enemy to this monopoly bourgeoisie.

  7. Mathis’ analysis of “conspiracies” are accurate and supported by evidence and photos. He is completely spot on about many of them. However, he is pitifully misinformed about the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism. When it comes to his subjective ‘ideas’ on Marx he is full of bloated, opaque, eclectic, dense and impenetrable bourgeois intellectual doublespeak, which is alien to Marxism-Leninism. He is a rabid anti-communist and bourgeois apologist for Imperialism/finance capitalism. A Marxist revisionist would be a step up for him. He sounds like a right wing New World Order nut.

    There is just too much to get into here and i am not going to be his teacher. But i’ll comment on a few things:

    Mathis equates fascism with Communism/Marxism Leninism. This idea of linking fascism with communism was part of an anti-communist, anti marxist and “anti-Stalinist” bourgeois strategy, propaganda and ideology that began with Khruschevite revisionism in 1956 with the help of US intelligence and opportunists on both sides of the fence. Marxism, of which Staliin was a continuator, is the polar opposite of fascism!!! It was the Red Army, the soviet people and their party and party head Stalin that defeated 90% of the fascist forces and saved the world from Hitlerites forces which, by the way, were being supported by the US and Britain against the Soviet Union, which was the main objective of WW2, anti-communism.

    Stalin, magnificently applying Marxism-Leninism to the building of a socialist society, was a threat of a good example to the ruling classes of Britain, US and other countries and an inspiration to working people everywhere . the world could see what he had accomplished in only 30 years, something it took capitalism 100 years!

    Something had to be done to villainize Stalin. therefore, anti-marxism-leninism, already proven to be legitimate due to its materialization in the Soviet Union, morphed conveniently, with help from the Trotskyites and the liberal left and social democrats (both parties of imperialism) into “anti-Stalinism”.

    Mathis has fallen victim to this bourgeois propaganda. On his delusions about industrialists and Lenin and Marx’s family being elitists? I can’t even comment on that because it is so far fetched and contrived. He simply has no depth of understanding of the class forces, the relations of production and productive forces that mold and continually push society forward and higher.

    Marxism is the continuation of the teachings of the greatest representatives of philosophy, political economy and socialism. Society is like science, always moving forward, at times in revolutions, in “leaps”. Capitalism is outdated and will either be replaced with socialism (Only by proletarian revolution with a vanguard party steeled in the theory and practice of Marxism- Leninism and scientific socialism) and then communism or things will get worse and fascism will ensue. An inter-imperialist/capitalist war is what leading democrats and republicans are planning right now.

    These stories about Asian airliners gone missing are psyops and pretexts for a imperialism’s (now led by the US) pivot towards Russia and China. US is redeploying its forces under the guise of humanitarian searches and recovery in the south pacific with the help of Australia.

    Mathis is very astute about US intelligence agencies and how they manipulate and control our consciousness. What he doesn’t grasp is that they are functions of the Capitalist/Imperialist ruling class state. This is basic Marxism-Leninism. I would suggest he start reading Marx, Engels and Lenin’s work on the State and Lenin’s work on Imperialism before he becomes an expert on Marxism.

    Fascism, which he accuses Marxism of, is when the finance/industrial oligarchy, the bourgeosie, today, here and now in the heart of imperialism, the United States, can no longer fool the people with the “democratic” facade. Democracy, whether republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives or even greens, is a dictatorship of one class over another, currently it is the financial oligarchy of finance industrial billionaires who rule with ‘democracy’. It is the dictatorship of the proletariat (all workers, not just in industry) that will replace it after the ruling class state is destroyed. The state of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the proletariat will wither away in the highest stage of economic formation, Communism

    When people finally figure out that ‘democracy’ is a form of dictatorship, the Capitalist ruling class has no other option but to resort to overt control and fascism. As Lenin said, “fascism is capitalism in decay”. Lenin was the leader of the toiling masses, the oppressed workers and peasants, the proletariat, he WAS NOT funded by “industrialists”. (where did Mathis get that idea, from some right wing illuminati, the “jews did it” website? Jews are not to be confused with Zionism which is a tool of US/NATO imperialism).

    And what is wrong with industry? Production and productive relations are the foundations of society. Building industry and making people’s lives easier and aids in progress. There is so much wrong with his naive idealist perspective that i have to end it here.

    • “Mathis’ analysis of “conspiracies” are accurate and supported by evidence and photos. He is completely spot on about many of them.”

      Please show an example of one analysis by Mathis which you think is “spot on”.

    • “Mathis’ analysis of “conspiracies” are accurate…”

      Sadly, you ran completely off the rails before even finishing the opening sentence.

    • To John Pepper, respectfully.

      About 80 % of what you wrote I agree with. You wrote MANY correct statements. The divide between Ruthless, Monopolistic, Crony, Fascist, Corporate “Capitalism” and the Marxist, Communist, Socialist, Utopians is only the Hegelian dialectic, designed to ensnare ALL, but the most well informed. Please notice that BOTH reek of Authoritarianism. This is the real unfortunate legacy of mankind. As far back as you can go, the people of earth have been plagued by tyrants, despots,kings, autocrats, who delight in absolute CONTROL. The “religious institutions” have universally catered to the secular elites, Religions keep the masses pacified, by never informing the people of the corruption that rules everyone. One bureaucracy to another.

      The true culprit is what was banned for 1000 years, but mysteriously was pardoned, about 1903 by Roman Catholicism…USURY. This is NOT a high interest rate, as you were lied to. Only Islam remains (of the 3 western book religions) against its practice, but only regarding its own adherents– the Infidel be dammed. Islamic Finance constitutes 1-2% of world finance. Dante placed usurers in the eighth circle of hell, but of course the Pope got his cut, for “allowing” it to occur, similar to Al Capone paying off the police, etc. Sovereign Debt is the most onerous form of mankinds’ enslavement, since it is passed to the children of each generation. When the elites found out how profitable War actually was, especially when they can plan, prepare, and anticipate the consequences (currencies, bankruptcies, bond interest backed by all future taxes on the people). How do you think the Rothschilds could own 42 palaces throughout Europe by 1900? This Infinite Interest on Infinite Debt (created out of thin air), using fractional reserve banking, is the MONEY power that feeds all the corruption of all the governments of the world. The Central Bankers simply own the earth, are anonymous, never audited, pay no taxes, are above all nations laws, and in fact argue for a United Nations, and International Courts, which of course they can control from behind the puppet rulers who provide certifiable conformity (you must be indoctrinated by the Council of Foreign Relations, etc.) before being allowed to “move up”.

      These ruthless Central Bankers have used depressions (withdraw money credit from circulation) and wars to tighten their grip on the worlds resources. Read Smedley Butler, War is a Racket, or just his speech. These Bankers funded Marx to write his crappy materialistic manifesto which admittedly can only “work” if the WHOLE WORLD conforms to its AUTHORITY =police state. The anti-thesis to Ruthless C/Banker Capitalism is Marxism. The House of Morgan or N.Y Wall Street sent $20 million is Gold to support Lenins’ 1917 Revolution. FDR gave enormous aid to Stalin. Nikita K convinced Stalin to starve the Ukranians to death to solve the problem of people who bartered their goods to survive. You were sold a false Utopia. The C/Bankers are the hidden power behind both ideological “fronts”, like a professional wrestling match, it is all for (ultimately) show. Even Islamic Wahabi/Extremists, want total absolute control, justified with Sharia Law. Vatican wants Canon Law, 100% opposed to democratic ideals (let the people be happy, safe, creative, and live up to their full potential). Do not be fooled by the Great Divide = ILLUSION. Duplicity is not just for Jesuits.

  8. Mathis has made the LIST OF INTERNET KOOKS.

    “Miles Mathis — Conspiracy theorist and physics crank who claims that NASA is involved in a massive cover-up to conceal the real value of pi, which according to him is actually 4.”

    Note that “conspiracy theorist” is listed before “physics crank”. Perhaps this is poetic justice for Mathis because it is obvious that his physics “papers” are quite worthless. They are mostly screaming rants against credentialed scientists with a little crackpot theory thrown in.

    Mathis’ inclusion in the LIST OF INTERNET KOOKS is the only kind of notice this butthurt manbaby is likely to get.

  9. What Mathis says amounts to: The circle depicts straight line motion=2pi r.
    The cycloid depicts circular motion =8r.
    To depict circular motion on a sheet of paper the “arc” should be drawn as a “Manhattan metric”
    (staircase) which gives the same result as the cycloid =8r, this gives the orbital distance (an orbit is circular motion).
    From this no one can argue that the radius, tangent and arc of the orbit is not equal at I/8 of the
    cycloid which is drawn in the same time as 1/8 of the circle.

    To me this is a sensible argument and I give Mathis the last laugh.
    I now believe orbital distance is 8r.

    • If you want to believe that pi=4, or even 104, that’s alright with me. Believe whatever you want. I have lost all interest in the Mathis book of fairy tales.

    • A question about Mathis’ “Manhattan metric” argument: What exactly defines these directions of motion that all of the particles of the universe are constrained to? Are they east-west, north-south, and up-down? Relative to which location on the surface of the Earth? How about on Saturn? What/who has determined these ‘primary directions’ (God, maybe?), how do particles know which directions they are allowed to travel in, and is there any experimental way of detecting these primary directions at an arbitrary location in space?

      Let us assume (rather absurdly) that linear motion is constrained as above relative to my house. In that case a particle traveling in a circle on my lawn could only move in a “staircase” fashion of north/south and east/west steps, creating a circumference of 4 times the diameter. That’s what Miles says. But now, let us tilt the circle 45 degrees relative to the lawn. The particle must now move in a 3-dimensional “staircase” path — consisting of north/south, east/west, and up/down steps. Guess what? Now the circumference is 1.5 times longer, because the particle is taking 3 steps for every 2 it took in the case of a level circle. Therefore, for a tilted circle, the circumference is 6 times the diameter, and pi = 6!

  10. Hi Steve,

    If 40 pages are too much for you and your friends to follow you could grasp it probably by understanding that it comes from the Zeno paradox in two dimensions:

    Let me ask you a few questions to help your understanding why circular motion is not equivalent to a solid circle:

    – would you agree that for a circular motion you need to move in two dimensions? (E.g. x and y)
    – would you agree that a straight line motion is a motion in only one dimension?
    – then would you agree you cannot approximate two dimensions with one dimension?

    • I fully agree with Dr. Tahir Yaqoob, NASA Astrophysicist, whose comment is shown below. It’s hard to find fault with his analysis; “dead-on balls accurate”.

      • So you think if you imagine things small enough, two dimensions will turn into one? Can you please explain how that works mechanically?

        Please note that Dr. Yaqoob agrees with Mathis in his last sentence: given the charge field physical motion occurs like that since photons have both linear motion and spin.

        • Dr. Yaqoob does not agree with Mathis; and I suspect he deeply regrets he ever got involved with Mathis in the first place. The stigma of their association has to be a devastating embarrassment for him.

          “I do not endorse his methods or conclusions. I still have issues with pretty much every article in his book.”
          — Dr. Tahir Yaqoob (Sept 3, 2012)

          If Mathis had even an ounce of integrity, he would put the above quote on the jacket of his next book; hardly a ringing endorsement.

            • Speaking of direct questions, one has been flagged for your attention at the top of the “Variable Acceleration” article. Michael Norris has requested a demonstration of your hand-waving skills. And I’m certain you won’t disappoint. Hey, throw in some parroting too; just for good measure.

  11. “My reasoning for why the pi=4 argument is flawed is physical not mathematical. In the end the two are equivalent but the distinction is important because the mathematics is secondary and just a description. Essentially, Miles implicitly assumes that in arbitrarily small time intervals motion occurs in two perpendicular directions *in sequence*. Nothing moves like that: in arbitrarily small time intervals curved motion is along the curve (i.e., the motion cannot be broken down into two perpendicular motions *in sequence*). If the laws of physics were such that motion actually occurred like that then the conclusion would be correct (which is why the mathematical arguments are secondary).”
    – Dr. Tahir Yaqoob, NASA Astrophysicist (Sept 3, 2012)

      • Yep, they’re one and the same. The good doctor did in fact write the books introduction; but that was merely an invitation to read the book. Dr. Yaqoob has never endorsed even a single word of the books content; he’s not stark raving mad.

    • Don’t you think that NASA has suffered enough embarrassment, without your connection to Mathis? Let us never forget that NASA wasted $10M on trying to reproduce an ‘effect’ (reported by an enamel expert called Podkletnov) which physicists had immediately attributed to experimental error, launched the Hubble telescope without performing elementary checks on its optics, lost a planetary probe due to a confusion over which units of measurement it was using and killed 7 people because it did not understand the behaviour of rubber. But hey, the JPL was founded by a bunch of crackpots (including a devil-worshipper) … so who knows?

      • Mathis is preparing his third book for publication (there is a picture posted on his website). And once again, Dr. Tahir Yaqoob’s name is on the cover of the book; that makes it three for three:

        “I am flabbergasted – my gut reaction is that the idea that G is a scaling constant between two fields in Newton’s equation is an absolutely brilliant insight.”
        — Dr. T. Yaqoob, NASA Astrophysicist

        I am beginning to genuinely feel sorry for this poor man; his good name and reputation are being tarnished and shamefully exploited by Mathis. But then, he should have known better; he has only himself to blame.

        PS: Dr. Yaqoob can be reached for comment via the following e-mail address:
        And as a rule, he will promptly respond.

  12. Interesting collection of links listed at the end. The comment sections are a riot. Miles Mathis in the guise of Steven Oostdijk. Could it be anymore transparent?

    • Yeah, that was back in those heady days when Mathis was promoting his first book. Back then, he was always Oostdijk; everyday. But now, Mathis is much more sly and shrewd about his online presence. He must have a thousand aliases; at the very least.

  13. Hi, Miles Pantload Mathis here. Even though no one seems to accept the obvious fact that pi = 4, I just wanted everyone to know that on my other site — you know, the one devoted to rigorous social critique rather than rigorous physics — I’ve exposed the conspiracy that the Newtown and Aurora shootings were covert operations planned and executed by the CIA, a.k.a the mainstream media. I’ve also exposed Anderson Cooper as the “sissy” CIA operative that he is. You can thank me later.

    Also, even though some may think that my prediction posted on 5/1/11 failed (that Barack Obama’s birth-certificate conspiracy would get exposed that week, which would lead to race riots in the streets), actually, it came true. You just don’t know it; this story, like the fluoride conspiracy, has been squelched by the mainstream media/CIA. Why do you think they have tried so hard to distract us with these transparently staged shootings/conspiracies ever since? And, why do you think I’ve been willing to keep that scholarly paper on my website — despite the threat of Illuminati drone strikes and visits by shape-shifting reptilian humanoids in the night, with their terrifying rectal probes? I rest my case!

      • Using the stair-step approach (which Mathis uses), the perimeter never changes in value; regardless of how many new steps are added. Even with an infinite number of stair-steps, the perimeter remains unchanged at 4; it’s a constant.

        Archimedes, on the other hand, used inscribed and circumscribed polygons. As the number of polygonal sides is increased, the length of the perimeter will change in value; thus, approaching the actual length of the arc.

        Mathis’ stair-step method doesn’t accomplish anything at all, and never does approach the arc length; it starts out at 4, and remains at 4. He’s taking the limit of a constant. In other words, his method is a miserable failure.

        • What really doesn’t make sense to me is that his “calculus” apparently removes the need for approaching zero, but for this to even look like it’s working, the number of steps has to approach infinity.

    • Work mates? Where at NSA/CIA? How many people know about his website unless they had an interest in it? Why would more than 3 people in one office know about this Mathis’ website if they weren’t reading it for some reason? What is that reason? You clearly aren’t interested in knowing the truth so maybe your job is to listen in on those who are telling the truth.

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