last updated April 8th, 2008 and is permanently morphing...
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pi (pì) noun
1. The 16th letter of the Greek alphabet.
2. Mathematics. A transcendental number, approximately 3.14159, represented by the symbol p, that expresses the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle and appears as a constant in many mathematical expressions.
[Medieval Greek, from Greek pei, of Phoenician origin; akin to Hebrew pê.]
pi also pie (pì) Printing.
plural pis also pies
An amount of type that has been jumbled or thrown together at random.
pied (pìd) also pied piing pieing pies pies verb, transitive
To jumble or mix up (type).
To become jumbled.
The most decimal places to which pi (p) has been calculated is 206,158,430,000. Professor Yasumasa Kanada of the University of Tokyo and Dr Daisuke Takahashi made the calculation by running two different programs in September 1999. The programs ran for 37 hours 21 minutes.
pi, in mathematics, the ratio of the circumference of a CIRCLE to its diameter; its symbol is p. The ratio is the same for all circles and is approximately 3.1416. The NUMBER p is irrational and transcendental. An early value was the Greek approximation 3 1/7; by the mid-20th cent. a computer had calculated p to 100,000 decimal places.
The formula shown below allows one--- if one wishes---to find the billionth digit of pi without first computing the preceding 999,999,999 digits. In other words, isolated digits of pi can be quickly calculated should an urgent need arise. P.B. Borwein et al, at Simon Fraser University, announced this "curious" discovery in October 1995.
This is the equation mathematicians use in calculating isolated digits of pi.
Innuendo aside, there is something more than "curious" here. It seems that the formula works only for hexadecimal (base-16) digits of pi. These can be easily converted into binary (base-2) digits. Strangely, it does not work at all for our familiar decimal (base-10) digits of pi.
Not to worry though. Y. Kanada and colleagues, at the University of Tokyo, have now computed pi to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits. But, they have found a puzzling asymmetry. In the first 4 billion digits, the decimal digit 6 occurs 400,033,035 times, but 2 shows up only 399,965,405 times! Shouldn't all ten digits appear with the same frequency? Obviously, we do not appreciate all of the subtleties of pi.
Consider the positive integer, 8. It can be written as m 2 + n 2 , a sum of two squares of integers, in just 4 ways, namely when the pair (m, n) is (2, 2), (2, -2), -2, 2), and (-2, -2). The integer 7, on the other hand, cannot be written as the sum of any squared integers. On the average, over a very large collection of integers from 1 to n, in how many ways can an integer be written as the sum of such squares? The answer is little short of astounding: closer and closer to pi!
(Anonymous; "Closing Pi Surprise," Algorithm, p. 7, n.d. Cr. C.H. Stiles)
If you take the perimeter of The Great Pyramid of Giza, and divide it by two times the height, you get a number that is exactly equivelant to the number pi (3.14159...) up to the fifteenth digit. The chances of this phenomenon happening by sheer chance is remarkably small. Did the ancientEgyptians know what the number pi was? Not according to traditional history, seeing as it was a number not calculated accurately to the fourth digit, until the 6th century; and the pyramids calculate it to the fifteenth.
the film _Pi_. i had high hopes for this one, and it was fantastic 3/4 of the way through. unfortunately it completely lost it in the end, pummeling you with every david lynch cliche imaginable. it barely touches upon all the interesting elements re: kabbalah and chaos theory. i walked out of the theater disgusted and vowing never to see another fictional film ever again... - @Om* 11/24/00
directed by Darren Aronofsky
PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News Number 428 May 14, 1999 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein
PI AND RANDOM NUMBERS. Pi is a "quark" of mathematics: it is one of the basic building blocks out of which various geometrical and algebraic relations are built. Normally thought of as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, pi keeps turning up in odd places. For example, Georges Leclerc, Count de Buffon, was the first to show a connection between pi and the occurrence of random events. In 1777 he performed an experiment in which needles are randomly dropped onto a surface covered with ruled lines spaced apart by an amount equal to the size of the needle; the fraction of times the needle comes down astride a line is related to pi. Mathematicians have exploited this relation tomake random number generators. Sylvan Bloch (813-961-0778), of the University of South Florida does the converse of this. He and Robert Dressler developed software (for the classroom) for using random numbers to generate a statistical estimation of pi. By the way, in warped space/time pi is not necessarily equal to the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. As an appendix to hisarticle in the April issue of the American Journal of Physics, Bloch shows how "pi" varies as space becomes increasingly curved. (Asusual science journalists can obtain copies of articles from AIP public information. For pi lore, seehttp://forum.swarthmore.edu/dr.math/faq/faq.pi.html
fragrance _Pi_ by Givenchy
Bottle Designer: Serge Mansau
Fragrance famiily: Oriental
"Professor Hans-Henrik Stolum, an earth scientist at Cambridge University has calculated the ratio between the actual length of rivers from source to mouth and their direct length as the crow flies. Although the ratio varies from river to river, the average value is slightly greater than 3, that is to say that the actual length is roughly three times greater than the direct distance. In fact the ratio is approximately 3.14, which is close to the value of the number pi... The ratio of pi is most commonly found for rivers flowing across very gently sloping planes, such as those found in Brazil or the Siberian tundra."
- _Fermat's Enigma_ by Simon Singh
film _Matrix: Reloaded_ (2003)
to the Source, Neo must first go to the Keymaker, another program/person
with "keys" to everything. The door to the mainframe, under intense
security, can only be accessed for "just over five minutes" (until
an alternate security system kicks in), or as the Keymaker puts it "exactly
314 seconds." This of course is a reference to pi, the only "anomaly"
in an otherwise "perfect" system of numbers.