July 22: Why is this Date so Significant?
Posted on: September 9, 2021.

Author: Prabhukrishna M, Content Creator/Chief Editor, Yokibu Editorial

One particular day of the year is assigned the “Pi Approximation Day”—chronologically July 22, and mathematically 22/7whose value is “Pi”.

Another particular day of the year is assigned the “Global Pi Day”—chronologically March 14, and mathematically 3.14which is the decimal form of the fractional representation of “Pi”—22/7.

Isn’t  exercising one’s digestive tract the best way to celebrate any day. And on a day for “Pi”, why not savour a pie or a pizza—which approximates a pie—or something involving baking, throwing, and eating pies…

…of course, after having calculated their area and circumference—for students who study about Pi (π) in school, this could well be an “appropriate” activity.

What is Pi (π)?

In the years-long—perhaps even thousands of years—subject of Mathematics, having its mainstay lodged for years, Pi continues to be the most important mathematical constant.

Pi is singularly essential to calculate…

…the area of a circle

…the volume of a sphere

…the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter

Furthermore—as a general feature central to many mathematical formulae—Pi holds critical scientific importance. More than just a mathematical constant, “Pi (π)” is a phenomenon.

It has, for scientists, been—through the ages—a constant fascination; an irrational entity whose value no fraction or decimal can express absolutely, and whose digits never terminate nor repeat themselves.

The value of “Pi”—22/7—could be represented thus:

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445……….

It is worth mentioning here that Pi’s popularity extends beyond the realms of math and science to various fields ranging from academia to pop-culture…

Films

‘Pi’ is a 1998 motion picture feature whose story revolves around a paranoid mathematician who—obsessed in his search for a number that will enable him to unlock the universal patterns found in nature—eventually goes insane.

‘The Matrix’ trilogy of films, and episodes of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Simpsons’ refer to ‘Pi’.

Music

‘Pi’ was one of Musician Kate Bush’s songs that featured in a 2005 musical album titled ‘Aerial’, in which she  sings more than a hundred digits of the number…

…but her shrewd math fans found out that—after the first fifty decimal places—she started making up her own digits.

Sports

To calculate the different starting positions on the 400-metre running tracks, sports officials use Pi to ensure that each runner covers the same distance.

Literature

‘Piems’ are ‘Pi’-inspired poems where the single opening integer and every succeeding decimal value of Pi is represented by the length of each word (in letters) in the ‘piem’.

The length of each word—in letters—in the piem “How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics” represents the number 3.14159265358979.

Helping people memorize the digits of ‘Pi’ was the intention behind piems—today, however, there are 10,000-word books dedicated to Piems.

Incorporating ‘Pi’ in its short stories, plays and puzzles is ‘Pilish’—another variant of English that pays homage to the immortality of ‘Pi’.

FACT 1: The ‘memory banks’ of those who progressively memorize the infinite decimal digits in the value of Pi, typically surge by 10-15 decimal digits each day.

FACT 2: Memorizing ‘Pi’ to the first 22, 514 decimal digits took Englishman Daniel Tammet an estimated two weeks! On March 14, 2004—Global Pi Day—Tammet recited Pi to the first 22,514 digits at the University of Oxford.

FACT 3: ‘5′ is the most frequently-occurring number—with 100, 359 appearances—in the first million decimal digits in the value of Pi.

FACT 4: Calculating the value of Pi to the first 707 decimal places took William Shanks (1812 -1882) 15 years to finish.

FACT 5: Computing the value of ‘Pi’ to the first 5 trillion decimal places, on a single desktop computer, took Japanese systems engineer—Shigeru Kondo—and an American Computer engineer—Alexander Yee—99 days to finish in the year 2010.

Hopefully, this article would have been an interesting read to many … and therefore it is my duty to thankfully owe courtesy to one Leesa Hamilton whose article I referred to help me compile this article.


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