Monday, March 13, 2017


March 14th (3.14) is  day, and all around the world pi-philes are celebrating 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:


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

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