The 14th of March (3/14 in an American date format) is definitely not an ordinary day for all math admirers – it is an annual festivity of the constant number Pi. As you probably remember, (or maybe not), from math class, Pi symbolizes the ratio of a flawless circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi Day was firstly observed in 1987 by Larry Shaw, a theoretical physicist at Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco, California. Mr. Shaw came up with an idea to honor the famously incalculable number while he was working on the possibility of entering other dimensions via motion of rotation. What is more, this date is also a birthday of the exceptional physicist that has ever lived – Albert Einstein. Coincidence? I do not think so. Pi is in a group of irrational numbers, it means that it cannot be expressed as a fraction or with the finite number of digits. So it goes on forever! There are even championships that are able to memorize the most decimal places of Pi, right now, the record holder recalled 70,000. To celebrate the day, I have decided to gather 10 most unbelievable facts about the figure.
1) Pi is the most acknowledged mathematical constant in the world. Researchers often consider Pi the most important and fascinating number in entire mathematics’ world.
2) In the Star Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold,” Spock thwarts the evil computer by forcing it to “compute to last digit the value of pi.” – Which would simply take an infinite amount of time.
3) In the Greek alphabet, ð (Piwas) is the sixteenth letter, so is in the English one:)
4) The first 144 digits of pi sum up to 666 (which many scholars say is “the number of the Beast” – any Iron Maiden fans?). And 144 = (6+6) * (6+6)
5) Calculating the value of Pi is a Stress test for CPUs (Please – do not try this at home).
6) Plato, an all-time great Greek philosopher, and mathematician, apparently found an accurate value for Pi: √2 + √3, which is 3.146.
7) It is more precise to say that a circle has an infinite quantity of corners than to state a circle as corner-less. Many wise-heads have shattered thinking about such a model. Do not try to imagine that.
8) During the OJ Simpson trial in 1995, doubts were raised about the dependability of one witness when he answered the value of pi mistakenly. (I suggest memorizing 3.14 figure, just in case)
9) The mirror view of 3.14 is “PIE.” (Same as the pronunciation)
As you can see math is a big fun, and the number Pi is a phenomenon itself. Currently, it is seen more as a popular culture attribute than a mathematical constant. The figure is so inspiring that there have been scientists, who have sacrificed their entire lives to carry on researches on it. Its popularity can be probably only compared to the Schrodinger’s Cat Thought experiment by a Nobel’s prize winner Edwin Schroedinger. Undoubtedly, we, as the human race, will continue to seek the answers that lay behind the Pi number. Will we ever get them? We are yet to discover, but the road will be worth trying.