What is significant about the date July 22nd?
Posted on: August 22, 2012. Comments ( 1 )

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

July 22: it represents the fraction 22/7 is nominated as the world Pi Approximated Day.

March 14: it represents the fraction 22/7 in decimal form, i.e., 3.14) and is celebrated as Global Pi Day.

What best way to celebrate any day than by exercising one’s digestive track!? Why not savor a pie or a pizza – something approximating a pie, something involving baking, throwing and eating pies – of course, after having calculated their area and circumference. This could well be an activity for students who study about Pi (π) in school.

What is Pi (π)?

Pi is the most important constant, having its mainstay lodged in the subject of Mathematics for years, millennia, maybe. It is used to calculate the area of a circle and the volume of a sphere, and also holds its importance as a general feature, central to many mathematical formulae. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The phenomenon Pi (π) has been a constant fascination for scientists through ages down. Pi (π) is irrational – ‘cause its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction or a decimal – and its digits never terminate nor repeat themselves.

It value could be represented thus:

Pi’s popularity in various fields ranging form academia to pop-culture needs mention here.

Pi received special mentions in ‘The Matrix’ films, and in episodes of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Simpsons’. In 1998, the film ‘Pi’ was made, revolving around the story of a paranoid mathematician who goes insane when he becomes obsessively involved in searching for a number that will enable him to unlock the universal patterns found in nature. Musician Kate Bush had one of her songs called ‘Pi’ feature in her album ‘Aerial’ in the year 2005. She sings more than hundred digits of the number, but her canny math fans found that she started making up her won digits after fifty decimal places.

In sports, officials use Pi to calculate the different starting positions on the 400m running tracks. This ensures each summer covers the same distance. ‘Piems’ are ‘Pi’- inspired poems where the length of each word (in letters) represents a digit of Pi. For example:

“How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics” represents the number 3.14159265358979.

Piems were developed to help people memorize the digits of ‘Pi’, but now there are 10, 000 word-books of piems. ‘Pilish’ a variant of English, also follows the rule in its short stories, plays and puzzles.

‘Pi’ memorizers typically add ten to fifteen digits every day to their ‘memory bank’. Englishman Daniel Tammet has estimated that it took him two weeks to memorize the first 22, 514 digits of ‘Pi’. He then recited them at the University of Oxford on March 14, 2004.

In the first million digits of ‘pi’, the number ‘5’ occurs the most frequently, with 100, 359 appearances.

William Shanks (1812 -1882) took 15 years to calculate ‘Pi’ to 707 places.

Shigeru Kondo, a Japanese systems engineer and Alexander Yee, an American Computer engineer took 99 days to compute ‘Pi’ to 5 trillion decimal places. On a single desktop computer, in 2010.

An interesting read for anyone, I guess. Thanks to Leesa Hamilton whose article, I owe, courtesy to.

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Comments (1)


    Meenakshi Karthik says:

    very interesting to learn about the facts of Pi. thanks for sharing.

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