Every year on 14 March, we celebrate Pi Day (3/14), a holiday in honor of a very special number, namely Pi.
Pi Day was first celebrated in 1988 on the initiative of the American physicist Larry Shaw. This number is found in quantum mechanics and in Euler’s identity formula, which is considered one of the most fascinating identities in mathematics. Pi is used as a constant in many physical laws, such as that of pendulum oscillation, harmonic motion, and the calculation of the period of a planet in a central field. In statistics, it is found in the probability function of the Gaussian normal distribution. But why is this number so important?
One way to celebrate it is to broaden our knowledge of this interesting subject.
Pi, also known by the Greek letter “π”, is a constant value used in mathematics that represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14…15…. Not only that, but the fourteenth of March is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, so all together it’s nothing short of a mathematician’s and scientist’s delight.
What is the number Pi?
In-plane geometry is defined as the ratio (c/d) between the length of the circumference (c) and that of its diameter (d). Another definition sees it as the area of a unit circle of radius r=1. Pi is a real, irrational, transcendent number, defined as a mathematical constant. Unlike physical constants, Pi is a number with an exact value and no margin of error. The first ten digits of this number are: 3.141592653. In calculations, it is represented by the symbol: π and is generally approximated by 3.14.
It is called irrational because it cannot be represented by the ratio of two real integers, which means that after the decimal point the number of digits that follow is an infinite number. The term transcendent, on the other hand, means that it is an irrational number that is not the solution of any polynomial with rational coefficients. The digits in pi are infinite and it has no periodicity.
It is widely used to solve problems in mathematics, physics, and even engineering.
History of the number Pi
It seems that the number Pi has been used for thousands of years, long before the Babylonians. For the Egyptians, the number Pi had a lot to do with the construction of the pyramids.
Great scientists and mathematicians such as Isaac Newton managed to decipher some of its digits. Over the years, other mathematical and physics geniuses were able to calculate a greater number of digits.
To this day, it is impossible to calculate the exact area of the circumference, as Pi is an infinite number.
Happy Pi Day!