Monday, March 14, 2011

pi day

Get out your favorite circular objects, people, it’s Pi Day 2011!
As the math and science enthusiasts among us already know, March 14 (i.e. 3/14) is official Pi Day — a day to celebrate the number Pi, identified by the Greek letter π, which is used to calculate the circumference of a circle.
Pi is most often shortened to 3.14. But because the number is both irrational and transcendental, it “will continue indefinitely without repeating,” as the official Pi Day website, PiDay.org, kindly explains.
With the use of handy computers, Pi has now been calculated out to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. It is Pi’s mysterious nature — the fact that it can never be entirely known — that has helped generate the adoration for it held by the mathematically inclined.
The famous symbol for Pi, π, was first used by Welsh mathematician William Jones in his work Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos, which was published in 1706. It wasn’t until its adoption by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737, however, that the Pi symbol gained widespread popularity.


This, being the fourteenth day of the third month, is National Pi Day — a day to recognize the mathematical constant of pi. In this video, the daughter of YouTube user kurtgodden recited the first 500 digits of pi in 90 seconds. She’s memorized the first 2,300.

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