Importance Of Pi

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Math is about numbers; these numbers span from positive to negative, rational to irrational and complex to imaginary. The main number that this essay will be looking at is the irrational number known as pi. Many different civilizations throughout history have had their own approximations for pi. In fact one of the first aspects in defining the number known as pi was coming up with a variable that could represent this number. Π was decided to be the variable that stuck and its origins can be traced back to the Greeks (Wilson). Pi is a concept that can be traced back to ancient times to the middle ages and even today many computer software programs continue to evolve pi. William L. Schaaf said, "Probably no symbol in mathematics has evoked as …show more content…
The Egyptians, in the Rhind papyrus (1650), computed pi to be 3.1604 (Book). The writer of the Rhind papyrus Ahmes wrote "Cut off 1/9 of a diameter and construct a square upon the remainder; this has the same area as the circle" (Wilson). This formulates to the equations that pi must be equivalent to, π = 4(8/9)^2 = 3.1604. The Babylonians were not as close in their approximations as tablets unearthed around Ancient Babylonia suggest their approximation was 3 (Book). It turns out that the Babylonia approximation of pi was the value that found its way to China and was used there for many hundreds years later (Wilson). Both of these civilizations had different reasons for computing pi but both came to accept different numerical values for pi with varying levels of accuracy. Considering the wide scope of limitations these value are still quite …show more content…
In 1945 D. F Ferguson pressed the limits of computer calculation of pi with a years worth of work on the number leading to 808 digits of pi (Wilson). Many computer programmers and mathematicians followed Ferguson’s computer work to continually crunch out digits for pi in attempt to create software that could calculate digits of pi faster and faster. In 1976 Eugene Salamin put the final mark on his algorithm, which constantly doubles the number of accurate digits with each iteration of pi (Wilson). Today the world is blessed with the current record being 68,719,470,000 digits found by Kanada and Takahashi in 1999 (Wilson). Even to this day mathematicians are still trying to search and search for more digits of pi. The relevance of this search is minimal as the practical application of using more then 100 digits of pi is very minimal. A more important feat that mathematicians are currently looking into is a pattern within pi. The question that leaves many mathematicians scratching their heads is there away to pick up pi in the middle of its strand of digits and quickly identify it as being part of

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