Missouri Baptist University Physical Science Determination of Pi Lab Report

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Lab #3:Determination of Pi


  • To take measurements of circumference and diameter for circles.
  • To use data from these measurements to develop data analysis techniques that will be useful in other components of this course.


We start by asking the question: “In a circle, is the circumference proportional to the diameter?”

If it is then C =Nd, where N is some number whose value we do not yet know. We can now write this as N = C/d Thus, if N is the same for all circles then C is proportional to d for the circles.

Procedure:piece of string, ruler with units (metric units of cm or mm might be easier), a coin, a small can and a large can or round jar.

  • Draw the 3 different circles of different sizes. Label each on second page. (only second page to be submitted for the assignment.
  • Using a string determine the circumference of each object and the diameter. Record your measurements in the data section and remember to record your units.
  • Compute N for each circle.

Data: Use these values for the table on the next page and remember the units

Circle 1:Value of C: __________Circle 2:Value of C: __________

Value of d: __________Value of d: __________

Value of N: __________Value of N: __________

Circle 3:Value of C: __________

Value of d: __________

Value of N: __________

This sheet to be completed and submitted for your assignment:

Drawings of three circles: (they can overlap)




Value of N




  • Average of N: __________________ (sum up 3 values and divide by 3)
  • Did each circle have same N value?If not why might that have happened?
  • Based on theaverage N, what is the value of N referred to as in mathematics?
  • Explain if this experiment verifies that C is proportional d?

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