Here is some stuff that you may or may not have known about pi, and you may (or may not) find it interesting.
World memory champions are well renowned for being able to memorise the order of multiple packs of cards, but it seems that there is an increasing interest in memorizing the digits of pi. After all, what better number could there be for a memory test? It goes on to infinity, there are no repeated patterns and is for all intents and purposes a random string of digits, plus it's easy enough to verify right and wrong answers (after all, over 2,180,000,000(!) digits of pi have been computed and checked.)
Memorizing the digits of pi has become such an interest to so many people that clubs are springing up all over the world for people to gather and memorise pi together. Many people have managed to recall over 1000 digits, and this is certainly not an upper limit by any stretch of the imaginiation.And in case you might think any old person could do it, here are the first 1000 digits (after the decimal point):1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989
Doesn't look so easy now, eh?Back To Top
Yes, that's right, there really is a movie called ! It came out in 1999, and starred Sean Gullette.
The central theme of the film is the fact that number patterns are found absolutely everywhere in modern life, including things such as plants and even religious texts. Sean play Max Cohen, a man trying to decode these number patterns. Whilst not limited to the subject of discussing pi, it is certainly worth a mention here, if only for the fact that it is a very good film and should be watched immediately, regardless of the level of interest/knowledge of mathematics.
Follow the link below to go to the movie's official website.
In true News at Ten style, we end on a lighter note.
In 1896, a physician from Indiana (America, where else?) had the brainwave of how to get around the standard problem of making calculations with pi. Simply round to one decimal and use a value of 3.2, instead of the traditional irrational (and correct) value. Not only this, but he was so proud of his brainwave, he decided he was going to try to sell his "invention" across the world, and started by getting Indiana State to agree to change the law so that all citizens would have to use 3.2 instead of pi.
If by now you haven't spotted the flaw in this idea, look at this. Below is how a circle would look using a diameter of unit length, and pi as its correct value:
Whereas a circle with diameter of unit length, but pi = 3.2, would produce a shape similar to this:
Now the problem is obvious. If all circles were like this, we would be able to get nowhere. The circle is one of the most fundamentally important shapes ever, and is an absolute necessity to anything from architecture to car design. Passing that law could have theoretically meant years of progress were wiped out!
Thankfully though, our story has a happy ending: a passing University Professor got wind of the possible law, and managed to convince the politicians what a silly idea it would be. They took notice, and stopped the bill in its tracks. Now how often would happen these days?