SIAM News Blog

Fun Facts: What You Didn’t Know about Pi

You may know pi as the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, or as the number 3.14. Here are some fun facts about pi that you might not know about.

  1. There is a computer called the Electronic Numeric Integrator and Computer (ENIC) that, in 1949, took 70 hours to figure out the first 2,037 decimal places of pi.

  2. The state legislature of Indiana proposed a bill in 1897 that tried to ascertain the most exact value of pi.  The bill never passed.

  3. The record for discovering the most number of digits of pi belongs to Fabrice Bellard.  He calculated 2.7 trillion decimal places on just a desktop computer.

  4. March 14 is known as Pi Day because of its date: 3/14.  It is also the birthday of Albert Einstein, who was born in 1879. (Happy Pi Day!)

  5. The Greek letter π was selected to describe pi in 1706 by William Jones, an English mathematician.

  6. It would take 12 billion digits of pi, typed in a normal-size font, to reach Kansas from New York City.

  7. When people want to measure ripples emanating from a central point, they use pi.

  8. The Guinness Book of World Records states that Lu Chao holds the world record for memorizing the most number of digits of pi.  He memorized 67,890 digits, which took him 24 hours and 4 minutes.

  9. Feynman point is the name for the six nines in a row that start at decimal point number 762.

  10. The number 1 is the most commonly occurring number in the first 100,000 decimal places of pi.  It occurs 10,137 times.

Also in case you didn’t notice, 3.14 backwards looks like “PIE.”


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