Wang Fan

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Wang Fan
Official of Eastern Wu
Born 228
Died 266 (aged 38)
Traditional Chinese 王蕃
Simplified Chinese 王蕃
Pinyin Wáng Fān
Wade–Giles Wang Fan
Courtesy name Yongyuan (Chinese: 永元; pinyin: Yǒngyuán; Wade–Giles: Yung-yüan)

Wang Fan (228–266), courtesy name Yongyuan, was an official and astronomer of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. He was from Lujiang (southwest of present-day Lujiang County, Anhui). He was proficient in mathematics and astronomy. He calculated the distance from the Sun to the Earth, but his geometric model was not correct. In addition, he give the numerical value of π as 142 / 45 = 3.155… (Schepler 1950, p. 168; Volkov 1997, p. 312), not as accurate as the contemporary mathematician Liu Hui achieved. He was executed by Sun Hao, whom he was unable to respect.