**π** of course is the distance around a circle. **√π** is the area under **∫exp **(**−x²**), and **exp **(**−x²**) is the key ingredient in the normal distribution.

That’s more or less what **√π** means—the area under the Bell curve.

But what does it *mean* mean? I mean, if **π** is a *distance* and **√** is used to turn areas into distances — is it, like, shrinking the **π** even one more time? Are we talking about a half-dimension here?

**edit:** hmm, the end of this post seems to have been deleted by the rare weirdness of tumblr’s mass editor. I’ll see if I can’t remember how it ended. Umm, something about the moment-generating function? (i.e. going around the complex unit circle)