Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Friday is PI Day!...the most compelling and mysterious constants of Nature

Via Spaceweather.com

FRIDAY IS PI DAY: Mark your calendar. This Friday, March 14th (3.14), is day. It's an occasion to celebrate one of the most compelling and mysterious constants of Nature. Pi appears in equations describing the orbits of planets, the colors of auroras, the structure of DNA. The value of is woven into the fabric of life, the universe and ... everything.

Humans have struggled to calculate for thousands of years. Divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter; the ratio is . Sounds simple, but the devil is in the digits. While the value of is finite (a smidgen more than 3), the decimal number is infinitely long:

3.1415926535897932384626433832795
02884197169399375105820974944592307
81640628620899862803482534211706...more

Supercomputers have succeeded in calculating more than 2700 billion digits and they're still crunching. The weirdest way to compute : throw needles at a table orfrozen hot dogs on the floor. Party time!

No comments:

Post a Comment