Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Science Subscribe Log In Log In Today’s Paper Science | Pi Day: How One Infinite Number Made Us Modern Advertisement Supported by The famous mathematical ratio, estimated to more than 22 trillion digits (and counting), is the perfect symbol for our species’ long effort to tame infinity. BySteven Strogatz March 14, 2019 Adapted from “ Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe ,” which will be published on April 2 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. When my children were young, they liked to stare at a pie plate hanging in our kitchen, with the digits of pi running around the rim and spiraling in toward the center, shrinking in size as the numbers swirled into the abyss. Pi, as we all learned in school (and are reminded every March 14, on Pi Day), is defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Denoted by the Greek letter π, this curious little number is approximately 3.14, although computers have calculated it out past 22 trillion digits and counting: 3.141592653589793238462643383279502…, a sequence never repeating, never betraying any pattern, going on forever, infinity on a platter. For some people,… Read full this story

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