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March 14, 2011

3.14159265358979323...

Today is March 14, or, as it's better known to mathematics enthusiasts, Pi Day!
Pi (π) is one of the most important constants in geometry and advanced mathematics. It stands for the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. This works for any circle; if you measure the circumference and the diameter, and take the ratio, it will always simplify to approximately 22/7, or 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

Pi is an irrational number, and has an infinite number of non-repeating decimal places. Currently, over 1 trillion digits of pi have been calculated, but we will never reach the end. However, for most applications, 3.14 is a good enough approximation. As March 14th is abbreviated 3/14, we celebrate this handy constant.

So have a slice of pie, and a happy pi day!

To learn more about Pi, check out http://www.piday.org/.

2 comments:

codexaenir said...

22/7 is also an approximation (as it is a rational number).

Also, rational numbers can have an infinite number of decimal places. For example, 2/3.

Ali Marie said...

You're right. Thanks for the corrections. It should say that pi has an infinite number of non-repeating decimal places. I will make those couple edits.