There is no such thing as a circle

Today’s theory: there are no circles.

A circle is an artifical supposition of a perfectly circular shape, or an object in a circular shape. It has perfectly uniform curvature, a centrepoint that is equidistant from all points on the perimeter, a constant diameter, and no angular edges. How is this possible? I have not seen one, although my brain has tricked me enough times.

An object is only as perfectly circular as our eyes, and brain, deceive us. It does a remarkable job at approximating. Many of you will probably be aware that all objects are composed of molecules, whether big or small. A round metal disc is a bunch of metal atoms, a red blood cell is a bunch of cell membrane molecules. As you zoom in, you will see rough, even molecules. Worse still for cell membranes – they contain a huge variety of inserts. A string is made of wound fibres, smaller and smaller until you are unable to feel it. All circles are just collections of smaller components in a roughly circular shape.

So is an atom a circle? Nah, it’s just a bunch of electrons flying around the nucleus creating a, perhaps circular, forcefield. So is the nucleus a circle? Nah, it’s a bunch of neutrons and protons clumped together, and another forcefield. So is a neutron a circle? Nope, sub-atomic particles 1 up quark 2 down quarks. So the quark then? Given physics’ history of continuously discovering sub particles and wave-particle duality concepts, I’ll guess probably not.

So why are we so good at believing in the concept of a circle? Is it something that seems so right, and simple that even a baby can accept it without question?

The constant pi is an irrational mathematical constant. A neverending series of digits in the current mathematical system. Can the perfect circle only be an expression, a definition, but never fully exist?

It’s astounding how the human mind can accept and comprehend concepts and definitions that are ridiculously tricky to define, measure, understand. It doesn’t take a PhD in mathematics to understand a circle, but it could well require one to understand it completely, or even study it. We intuitively grasp, or think that we do, concepts like divine beings, morality, love, life, without often really understanding what it’s completely about.

There is no such thing as a circle

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