Tomorrow the world celebrates the unique number Pi, also denoted as π. Not just for the lovers of mathematics, but for everyone out there, March 14 this year is not just any other Pi day. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to live a day which mirrors the numbers that are the building blocks of the universe, 3.14.15. This is true about the size and ratio of a living cell, the ratio of our body, any circular design ever drawn, size of leaves, galaxies, and ultimately the entire universe as we know it today. Mathematicians use the symbol π to calculate ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
Pi day would be celebrated on 3.14.15 in San Francisco at the Exploratorium at 1:59 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. It is interesting to know that Albert Einstein was born on Pi day. His date of birth was March 14, 1879 an amazing fact given the importance of Pi. It is also the 16th letter in Greek alphabet. The letter p is the 16th letter in English alphabet as well. This proves that the reference to π is standard and constant in all languages.
The numeric value of π was also put to use for the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt more than 4000 years ago. The ratio of its perimeter to its height is approximately 2π. Pi is also referred to in two different verses of the Hebrew Bible written around the 8th and 3rd centuries BCE. References to Pi can be found in many ancient scriptures, architectural notes, and books of various religions practised across the world.
The exact moment of sequential time to resemble all the digits in pi will be on 3.14.15 at 9:26:53.58979. The next time when mathematical geeks and lovers of the irrational constant Pi across the world would be able to see this godly sequence would be on March 14 in the year 2115. Exactly a century later. Therefore Pi day on March 14, 2015 would be a once in a lifetime experience and that gives it all the more reason to celebrate.
Pi is a mathematical constant that has been known to mankind for close to 5,000 years. In 5th Century CE, Indian and Chinese mathematicians used geometry to calculate up to seven decimal digits of Pi. However, in the 14th century, this was reworked and the initial formula for Pi was found in Indian mathematics. This was based on the infinite series called the Madhave-Leibniz series. Sir Issac Newton also used the infinite series to calculate π up to 15 decimal digits. Pi or the fraction 22/7 or the irrational decimal number 3.14159 gives us a mathematical constant that merges the fields of mathematics, geometry, biology, astronomy, and physics. It is a unique irrational constant which is necessary to unlock nature’s secrets.
In recent times, scholars form the fields of science and maths have gone further with the help of computers to more than 13.3 trillion digits. Though basic science and technology uses up to 40 decimal digits of Pi, these expansive calculations are used in the modern-day accurate algorithms and supercomputers. It will be interesting to see if something extra-ordinary happens on March 14, 2015 as it will be the only most accurate Pi day in a 100 years.
By Ankur Sinha