Wheel of Theodorus

Irrational Numbers Can "In-Spiral" You

Theodorus was a Greek mathematician of the fifth century ВС. He was a Pythagorean, a member of a group of devoted followers of Pythagoras, and one of Plato's teachers
Students create an artistic project that displays rational and irrational numbers and gives them practice using the Pythagorean Theorem and estimating the value of irrational numbers.

The wheel starts with an isosceles right triangle.

The hypotenuse of each triangle becomes the leg of the next triangle.

Every triangle has a right angle and a base of 1 unit.

Students decorate their wheels in a way that demonstrates this spiral in the real world.


Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 12, No. 8 (APRIL 2007), pp. 442-446