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10 Fun Pi Day Facts

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Happy International Pi Day!

Happy International Pi Day (to all who celebrate)! Today, we honor circular foods (like pie and pizza) and the mathematical symbol that represents the circumferential ratio of a circle to its diameter. To celebrate, here are a few fun facts about everyone’s favorite irrational number.

1. In the classic Star Trek episode, “Wolf in the Fold”, Spock broke an evil computer by asking it to calculate the last number of the value of pi. In real life, the calculation of pi is a stress test for computers. It basically functions as a digital cardiogram since it indicates the level of activity within the computer’s processor.

2. The pi symbol is the Greek letter for “p”.

3. The number pi is infinitely long, but you won’t find the sequence, “123456” in the first million digits.

4. Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day. So was Simone Biles.

5. William Jones, a Welsh mathematician, introduced the pi symbol in 1706. However, the use of the symbol was popularized by Leonhard Euler, a Swiss-born mathematician and physicist. That wasn’t until 1737.

6. We (humans) will never be able to calculate all the digits of pi because of its very definition as an irrational number.

7. It would take a human approximately 2,000,000 years to recite all the known digits of pi (62.8 trillion) if they recited one digit per second.

8. In 1490, Leonardo da Vinci worked on approximating pi or “squaring the circle” as it was called. The result of those attempts is a sketch known as The Vitruvian Man. At the time, it was not known that squaring a circle would be impossible. Nonetheless, da Vinci’s sketch is widely regarded as a beautiful and genius work of art.

9. How many corners does a circle have? None? Wrong. Many mathematicians believe that a circle actually has an infinite number of corners.

10. This post is scheduled for 3/14 at 1:59 pm (the first six digits of pi).

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