# Square root of 2

The square root of 2, or the one-half power of 2, written in mathematics as ${\sqrt {2}}$ or $2^{1/2}$ , is the positive algebraic number that, when multiplied by itself, equals the number 2. Technically, it must be called the principal square root of 2, to distinguish it from the negative number with the same property.

Geometrically, the square root of 2 is the length of a diagonal across a square with sides of one unit of length; this follows from the Pythagorean theorem. It was probably the first number known to be irrational. The fraction 99/70 (≈ 1.4142857) is sometimes used as a good rational approximation with a reasonably small denominator.

Sequence A002193 in the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences consists of the digits in the decimal expansion of the square root of 2, here truncated to 65 decimal places:

1.41421356237309504880168872420969807856967187537694807317667973799
 Binary 1.01101010000010011110… Decimal 1.4142135623730950488… Hexadecimal 1.6A09E667F3BCC908B2F… Continued fraction $1+{\cfrac {1}{2+{\cfrac {1}{2+{\cfrac {1}{2+{\cfrac {1}{2+\ddots }}}}}}}}$ ## History

Babylonian clay tablet YBC 7289 with annotations. Besides showing the square root of 2 in sexagesimal (1 24 51 10), the tablet also gives an example where one side of the square is 30 and the diagonal then is 42 25 35. The sexagesimal digit 30 can also stand for 0 30 = 1/2, in which case 0 42 25 35 is approximately 0.7071065.

The Babylonian clay tablet YBC 7289 (c. 1800–1600 BC) gives an approximation of 2 in four sexagesimal figures, 1 24 51 10, which is accurate to about six decimal digits, and is the closest possible three-place sexagesimal representation of 2:

$1+{\frac {24}{60}}+{\frac {51}{60^{2}}}+{\frac {10}{60^{3}}}={\frac {305470}{216000}}=1.41421{\overline {296}}.$

Another early approximation is given in ancient Indian mathematical texts, the Sulbasutras (c. 800–200 BC), as follows: Increase the length [of the side] by its third and this third by its own fourth less the thirty-fourth part of that fourth. That is,

$1+{\frac {1}{3}}+{\frac {1}{3\times 4}}-{\frac {1}{3\times 4\times 34}}={\frac {577}{408}}=1.41421{\overline {56862745098039}}.$

This approximation is the seventh in a sequence of increasingly accurate approximations based on the sequence of Pell numbers, which can be derived from the continued fraction expansion of 2. Despite having a smaller denominator, it is only slightly less accurate than the Babylonian approximation.

Pythagoreans discovered that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side, or in modern language, that the square root of two is irrational. Little is known with certainty about the time or circumstances of this discovery, but the name of Hippasus of Metapontum is often mentioned. For a while, the Pythagoreans treated as an official secret the discovery that the square root of two is irrational, and, according to legend, Hippasus was murdered for divulging it. The square root of two is occasionally called Pythagoras's number or Pythagoras's constant, for example by Conway & Guy (1996).

### Ancient Roman architecture

In ancient Roman architecture, Vitruvius describes the use of the square root of 2 progression or ad quadratum technique. It consists basically in a geometric, rather than arithmetic, method to double a square, in which the diagonal of the original square is equal to the side of the resulting square. Vitruvius attributes the idea to Plato. The system was employed to build pavements by creating a square tangent to the corners of the original square at 45 degrees of it. The proportion was also used to design atria by giving them a length equal to a diagonal taken from a square, whose sides are equivalent to the intended atrium's width.

## Decimal value

### Computation algorithms

There are a number of algorithms for approximating 2 as a ratio of integers or as a decimal. The most common algorithm for this, which is used as a basis in many computers and calculators, is the Babylonian method for computing square roots, which is one of many methods of computing square roots. It goes as follows:

First, pick a guess, a0 > 0; the value of the guess affects only how many iterations are required to reach an approximation of a certain accuracy. Then, using that guess, iterate through the following recursive computation:

$a_{n+1}={\frac {a_{n}+{\frac {2}{a_{n}}}}{2}}={\frac {a_{n}}{2}}+{\frac {1}{a_{n}}}.$

The more iterations through the algorithm (that is, the more computations performed and the greater "n"), the better the approximation. Each iteration roughly doubles the number of correct digits. Starting with a0 = 1, the results of the algorithm are as follows:

• 1 (a0)
• 3/2 = 1.5 (a1)
• 17/12 = 1.416... (a2)
• 577/408 = 1.414215... (a3)
• 665857/470832 = 1.4142135623746... (a4)

### Rational approximations

A simple rational approximation 99/70 (≈ 1.4142857) is sometimes used. Despite having a denominator of only 70, it differs from the correct value by less than 1/10,000 (approx. +0.72×10−4). Since it is a convergent of the continued fraction representation of the square root of two, any better rational approximation has a denominator not less than 169, since 239/169 (≈ 1.4142012) is the next convergent with an error of approx. −0.12×10−4.

The rational approximation of the square root of two derived from four iterations of the Babylonian method after starting with a0 = 1 (665,857/470,832) is too large by about 1.6×10−12; its square is ≈ 2.0000000000045.

### Records in computation

In 1997 the value of 2 was calculated to 137,438,953,444 decimal places by Yasumasa Kanada's team. In February 2006 the record for the calculation of 2 was eclipsed with the use of a home computer. Shigeru Kondo calculated 1 trillion decimal places in 2010. Among mathematical constants with computationally challenging decimal expansions, only π has been calculated more precisely. Such computations aim to check empirically whether such numbers are normal.

This is a table of recent records in calculating the digits of 2.

Date Name Number of digits
June 28, 2016 Ron Watkins 10 trillion
April 3, 2016 Ron Watkins 5 trillion
February 9, 2012 Alexander Yee 2 trillion
March 22, 2010 Shigeru Kondo 1 trillion

## Proofs of irrationality

A short proof of the irrationality of 2 can be obtained from the rational root theorem, that is, if p(x) is a monic polynomial with integer coefficients, then any rational root of p(x) is necessarily an integer. Applying this to the polynomial p(x) = x2 − 2, it follows that 2 is either an integer or irrational. Because 2 is not an integer (2 is not a perfect square), 2 must therefore be irrational. This proof can be generalized to show that any square root of any natural number that is not the square of a natural number is irrational.

For a proof that the square root of any non-square natural number is irrational, see quadratic irrational or infinite descent.

### Proof by infinite descent

One proof of the number's irrationality is the following proof by infinite descent. It is also a proof by contradiction, also known as an indirect proof, in that the proposition is proved by assuming that the opposite of the proposition is true and showing that this assumption is false, thereby implying that the proposition must be true.

1. Assume that 2 is a rational number, meaning that there exists a pair of integers whose ratio is exactly 2.
2. If the two integers have a common factor, it can be eliminated using the Euclidean algorithm.
3. Then 2 can be written as an irreducible fraction a/b such that a and b are coprime integers (having no common factor) which additionally means that at least one of a or b must be odd .
4. It follows that a2/b2 = 2 and a2 = 2b2.   ( (a/b)n = an/bn  )   ( a2 and b2 are integers)
5. Therefore, a2 is even because it is equal to 2b2. (2b2 is necessarily even because it is 2 times another whole number and multiples of 2 are even.)
6. It follows that a must be even (as squares of odd integers are never even).
7. Because a is even, there exists an integer k that fulfills: a = 2k.
8. Substituting 2k from step 7 for a in the second equation of step 4: 2b2 = (2k)2 is equivalent to 2b2 = 4k2, which is equivalent to b2 = 2k2.
9. Because 2k2 is divisible by two and therefore even, and because 2k2 = b2, it follows that b2 is also even which means that b is even.
10. By steps 5 and 8 a and b are both even, which contradicts that a/b is irreducible as stated in step 3.
Q.E.D.

Because there is a contradiction, the assumption (1) that 2 is a rational number must be false. This means that 2 is not a rational number. That is, 2 is irrational.

This proof was hinted at by Aristotle, in his Analytica Priora, §I.23. It appeared first as a full proof in Euclid's Elements, as proposition 117 of Book X. However, since the early 19th century, historians have agreed that this proof is an interpolation and not attributable to Euclid.

### Proof by unique factorization

As with the proof by infinite descent, we obtain $a^{2}=2b^{2}$ . Being the same quantity, each side has the same prime factorization by the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, and in particular, would have to have the factor 2 occur the same number of times. However, the factor 2 appears an odd number of times on the right, but an even number of times on the left—a contradiction.

### Geometric proof

A simple proof is attributed by John Horton Conway to Stanley Tennenbaum when the latter was a student in the early 1950s and whose most recent appearance is in an article by Noson Yanofsky in the May–June 2016 issue of American Scientist. Given two squares with integer sides respectively a and b, one of which has twice the area of the other, place two copies of the smaller square in the larger as shown in Figure 1. The square overlap region in the middle ((2ba)2) must equal the sum of the two uncovered squares (2(ab)2). However, these squares on the diagonal have positive integer sides that are smaller than the original squares. Repeating this process, there are arbitrarily small squares one twice the area of the other, yet both having positive integer sides, which is impossible since positive integers cannot be less than 1.

Another geometric reductio ad absurdum argument showing that 2 is irrational appeared in 2000 in the American Mathematical Monthly. It is also an example of proof by infinite descent. It makes use of classic compass and straightedge construction, proving the theorem by a method similar to that employed by ancient Greek geometers. It is essentially the algebraic proof of the previous section viewed geometrically in yet another way.

Let ABC be a right isosceles triangle with hypotenuse length m and legs n as shown in Figure 2. By the Pythagorean theorem, m/n = 2. Suppose m and n are integers. Let m:n be a ratio given in its lowest terms.

Draw the arcs BD and CE with centre A. Join DE. It follows that AB = AD, AC = AE and the BAC and DAE coincide. Therefore, the triangles ABC and ADE are congruent by SAS.

Because EBF is a right angle and BEF is half a right angle, BEF is also a right isosceles triangle. Hence BE = mn implies BF = mn. By symmetry, DF = mn, and FDC is also a right isosceles triangle. It also follows that FC = n − (mn) = 2nm.

Hence, there is an even smaller right isosceles triangle, with hypotenuse length 2nm and legs mn. These values are integers even smaller than m and n and in the same ratio, contradicting the hypothesis that m:n is in lowest terms. Therefore, m and n cannot be both integers, hence 2 is irrational.

### Constructive proof

In a constructive approach, one distinguishes between on the one hand not being rational, and on the other hand being irrational (i.e., being quantifiably apart from every rational), the latter being a stronger property. Given positive integers a and b, because the valuation (i.e., highest power of 2 dividing a number) of 2b2 is odd, while the valuation of a2 is even, they must be distinct integers; thus |2b2a2| ≥ 1. Then

$\left|{\sqrt {2}}-{\frac {a}{b}}\right|={\frac {|2b^{2}-a^{2}|}{b^{2}\left({\sqrt {2}}+{\frac {a}{b}}\right)}}\geq {\frac {1}{b^{2}\left({\sqrt {2}}+{\frac {a}{b}}\right)}}\geq {\frac {1}{3b^{2}}},$

the latter inequality being true because it is assumed that a/b ≤ 3 − 2 (otherwise the quantitative apartness can be trivially established). This gives a lower bound of 1/3b2 for the difference |2a/b|, yielding a direct proof of irrationality not relying on the law of excluded middle; see Errett Bishop (1985, p. 18). This proof constructively exhibits a discrepancy between 2 and any rational.

### Proof by Diophantine equations

• Lemma: For the Diophantine equation $x^{2}+y^{2}=z^{2}$  in its primitive (simplest) form, integer solutions exist if and only if either $x$  or $y$  is odd, but never when both $x$  and $y$  are odd.

Proof: For the given equation, there are only six possible combinations of oddness and evenness for whole-number values of $x$  and $y$  that produce a whole-number value for $z$ . A simple enumeration of all six possibilities shows why four of these six are impossible. Of the two remaining possibilities, one can be proven to not contain any solutions using modular arithmetic, leaving the sole remaining possibility as the only one to contain solutions, if any.

x, y z
Both even Even Impossible. The given Diophantine equation is primitive and therefore contains no common factors throughout.
Both odd Odd Impossible. The sum of two odd numbers does not produce an odd number.
Both even Odd Impossible. The sum of two even numbers does not produce an odd number.
One even, another odd Even Impossible. The sum of an even number and an odd number does not produce an even number.
Both odd Even Possible
One even, another odd Odd Possible

The fifth possibility (both $x$  and $y$  odd and $z$  even) can be shown to contain no solutions as follows.

Since $z$  is even, $z^{2}$  must be divisible by $4$ , hence

$x^{2}+y^{2}\equiv 0\mod 4$

The square of any odd number is always $\equiv 1{\bmod {4}}$ . The square of any even number is always $\equiv 0{\bmod {4}}$ . Since both $x$  and $y$  are odd and $z$  is even:

$1+1\equiv 0\mod 4$
$2\equiv 0\mod 4$

which is impossible. Therefore, the fifth possibility is also ruled out, leaving the sixth to be the only possible combination to contain solutions, if any.

An extension of this lemma is the result that two identical whole-number squares can never be added to produce another whole-number square, even when the equation is not in its simplest form.

• Theorem: ${\sqrt {2}}$  is irrational.

Proof: Assume ${\sqrt {2}}$  is rational. Therefore,

${\sqrt {2}}={a \over b}$
where $a,b\in \mathrm {Z}$
Squaring both sides,
$2={a^{2} \over b^{2}}$
$2b^{2}=a^{2}$
$b^{2}+b^{2}=a^{2}$

But the lemma proves that the sum of two identical whole-number squares cannot produce another whole-number square.

Therefore, the assumption that ${\sqrt {2}}$  is rational is contradicted.

${\sqrt {2}}$  is irrational. Q. E. D.

## Multiplicative inverse

The multiplicative inverse (reciprocal) of the square root of two (i.e., the square root of 1/2) is a widely used constant.

${\frac {1}{\sqrt {2}}}={\frac {\sqrt {2}}{2}}=\sin 45^{\circ }=\cos 45^{\circ }=0.70710\,67811\,86547\,52440\,08443\,62104\,84903\,92848...$  (sequence A010503 in the OEIS)

One-half of 2, also the reciprocal of 2, is a common quantity in geometry and trigonometry because the unit vector that makes a 45° angle with the axes in a plane has the coordinates

$\left({\frac {\sqrt {2}}{2}},{\frac {\sqrt {2}}{2}}\right).$

This number satisfies

${\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2}}={\sqrt {\tfrac {1}{2}}}={\frac {1}{\sqrt {2}}}=\cos 45^{\circ }=\sin 45^{\circ }.$

## Properties

Angle size and sector area are the same when the conic radius is 2. This diagram illustrates the circular and hyperbolic functions based on sector areas u.

One interesting property of 2 is

$\!\ {1 \over {{\sqrt {2}}-1}}={\sqrt {2}}+1$

since

$\left({\sqrt {2}}+1\right)\left({\sqrt {2}}-1\right)=2-1=1.$

This is related to the property of silver ratios.

2 can also be expressed in terms of the copies of the imaginary unit i using only the square root and arithmetic operations, if the square root symbol is interpreted suitably for the complex numbers i and i:

${\frac {{\sqrt {i}}+i{\sqrt {i}}}{i}}{\text{ and }}{\frac {{\sqrt {-i}}-i{\sqrt {-i}}}{-i}}$

2 is also the only real number other than 1 whose infinite tetrate (i.e., infinite exponential tower) is equal to its square. In other words: if for c > 1, x1 = c and xn+1 = cxn for n > 1, the limit of xn will be called as n → ∞ (if this limit exists) f(c). Then 2 is the only number c > 1 for which f(c) = c2. Or symbolically:

${\sqrt {2}}^{{\sqrt {2}}^{{\sqrt {2}}^{~\cdot ^{~\cdot ^{~\cdot }}}}}=2.$

2 appears in Viète's formula for π:

$2^{m}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2+\cdots +{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}\to \pi {\text{ as }}m\to \infty$

for m square roots and only one minus sign.

Similar in appearance but with a finite number of terms, 2 appears in various trigonometric constants:

{\begin{aligned}\sin {\frac {\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {3\pi }{16}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {11\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}\\[6pt]\sin {\frac {\pi }{16}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {7\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {3\pi }{8}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}\\[6pt]\sin {\frac {3\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {\pi }{4}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2}}&\quad \sin {\frac {13\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}\\[6pt]\sin {\frac {\pi }{8}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {9\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {7\pi }{16}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}}}\\[6pt]\sin {\frac {5\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {5\pi }{16}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2-{\sqrt {2}}}}}}&\quad \sin {\frac {15\pi }{32}}&={\tfrac {1}{2}}{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2+{\sqrt {2}}}}}}}}\end{aligned}}

It is not known whether 2 is a normal number, a stronger property than irrationality, but statistical analyses of its binary expansion are consistent with the hypothesis that it is normal to base two.

## Representations

### Series and product

The identity cos π/4 = sin π/4 = 1/2, along with the infinite product representations for the sine and cosine, leads to products such as

${\frac {1}{\sqrt {2}}}=\prod _{k=0}^{\infty }\left(1-{\frac {1}{(4k+2)^{2}}}\right)=\left(1-{\frac {1}{4}}\right)\left(1-{\frac {1}{36}}\right)\left(1-{\frac {1}{100}}\right)\cdots$

and

${\sqrt {2}}=\prod _{k=0}^{\infty }{\frac {(4k+2)^{2}}{(4k+1)(4k+3)}}=\left({\frac {2\cdot 2}{1\cdot 3}}\right)\left({\frac {6\cdot 6}{5\cdot 7}}\right)\left({\frac {10\cdot 10}{9\cdot 11}}\right)\left({\frac {14\cdot 14}{13\cdot 15}}\right)\cdots$

or equivalently,

${\sqrt {2}}=\prod _{k=0}^{\infty }\left(1+{\frac {1}{4k+1}}\right)\left(1-{\frac {1}{4k+3}}\right)=\left(1+{\frac {1}{1}}\right)\left(1-{\frac {1}{3}}\right)\left(1+{\frac {1}{5}}\right)\left(1-{\frac {1}{7}}\right)\cdots .$

The number can also be expressed by taking the Taylor series of a trigonometric function. For example, the series for cos π/4 gives

${\frac {1}{\sqrt {2}}}=\sum _{k=0}^{\infty }{\frac {(-1)^{k}\left({\frac {\pi }{4}}\right)^{2k}}{(2k)!}}.$

The Taylor series of 1 + x with x = 1 and using the double factorial n!! gives

${\sqrt {2}}=\sum _{k=0}^{\infty }(-1)^{k+1}{\frac {(2k-3)!!}{(2k)!!}}=1+{\frac {1}{2}}-{\frac {1}{2\cdot 4}}+{\frac {1\cdot 3}{2\cdot 4\cdot 6}}-{\frac {1\cdot 3\cdot 5}{2\cdot 4\cdot 6\cdot 8}}+\cdots .$

The convergence of this series can be accelerated with an Euler transform, producing

${\sqrt {2}}=\sum _{k=0}^{\infty }{\frac {(2k+1)!}{2^{3k+1}(k!)^{2}}}={\frac {1}{2}}+{\frac {3}{8}}+{\frac {15}{64}}+{\frac {35}{256}}+{\frac {315}{4096}}+{\frac {693}{16384}}+\cdots .$

It is not known whether 2 can be represented with a BBP-type formula. BBP-type formulas are known for π2 and 2ln(1+2), however.

The number can be represented by an infinite series of Egyptian fractions, with denominators defined by 2nth terms of a Fibonacci-like recurrence relation a(n)=34a(n-1)-a(n-2), a(0)=0, a(1)=6.

${\sqrt {2}}={\frac {3}{2}}-{\frac {1}{2}}\sum _{n=0}^{\infty }{\frac {1}{a(2^{n})}}={\frac {3}{2}}-{\frac {1}{2}}\left({\frac {1}{6}}+{\frac {1}{204}}+{\frac {1}{235416}}+\dots \right)$

### Continued fraction

The square root of two has the following continued fraction representation:

$\!\ {\sqrt {2}}=1+{\cfrac {1}{2+{\cfrac {1}{2+{\cfrac {1}{2+{\cfrac {1}{2+\ddots }}}}}}}}.$

The convergents formed by truncating this representation form a sequence of fractions that approximate the square root of two to increasing accuracy, and that are described by the Pell numbers (known as side and diameter numbers to the ancient Greeks because of their use in approximating the ratio between the sides and diagonal of a square). The first convergents are: 1/1, 3/2, 7/5, 17/12, 41/29, 99/70, 239/169, 577/408. The convergent p/q differs from 2 by almost exactly 1/2q22[citation needed] and then the next convergent is p + 2q/p + q.

### Nested square

The following nested square expressions converge to 2:

{\begin{aligned}{\sqrt {2}}&={\tfrac {3}{2}}-2\left({\tfrac {1}{4}}-\left({\tfrac {1}{4}}-\left({\tfrac {1}{4}}-\left({\tfrac {1}{4}}-\cdots \right)^{2}\right)^{2}\right)^{2}\right)^{2}\\&={\tfrac {3}{2}}-4\left({\tfrac {1}{8}}+\left({\tfrac {1}{8}}+\left({\tfrac {1}{8}}+\left({\tfrac {1}{8}}+\cdots \right)^{2}\right)^{2}\right)^{2}\right)^{2}.\end{aligned}}

## Applications

### Paper size

In 1786, German physics professor Georg Lichtenberg found that any sheet of paper whose long edge is 2 times longer than its short edge could be folded in half and aligned with its shorter side to produce a sheet with exactly the same proportions as the original. This ratio of lengths of the longer over the shorter side guarantees that cutting a sheet in half along a line results in the smaller sheets having the same (approximate) ratio as the original sheet. When Germany standardised paper sizes at the beginning of the 20th century, they used Lichtenberg's ratio to create the "A" series of paper sizes. Today, the (approximate) aspect ratio of paper sizes under ISO 216 (A4, A0, etc.) is 1:2.

Proof:
Let $S=$  shorter length and $L=$  longer length of the sides of a sheet of paper, with

$R={\frac {L}{S}}={\sqrt {2}}$  as required by ISO 216.

Let $R'={\frac {L'}{S'}}$  be the analogue ratio of the halved sheet, then

$R'={\frac {S}{L/2}}={\frac {2S}{L}}={\frac {2}{(L/S)}}={\frac {2}{\sqrt {2}}}={\sqrt {2}}=R$ .

### Physical sciences

There are some interesting properties involving the square root of 2 in the physical sciences:

• The square root of two is the frequency ratio of a tritone interval in twelve-tone equal temperament music.
• The square root of two forms the relationship of f-stops in photographic lenses, which in turn means that the ratio of areas between two successive apertures is 2.
• The celestial latitude (declination) of the Sun during a planet's astronomical cross-quarter day points equals the tilt of the planet's axis divided by 2.

### Video games

The number has applications in the area of video games. In particular, the popularity of MOBAs with three lanes on a square map means that the geometry of the map is such that the middle lane is shorter than the top and bottom lanes by ~70% as given by the ratio 2/2, the reciprocal. This means a player can traverse the map diagonally from base to base in less than three quarters of the time it would take to use the top or bottom lanes.