Pi Facts

Here are some fun pi factoids, poems, stories, pictures, and trivia. Have a great pi fact or story? Send it to us!

The record has been broken (again)!

It's hard to imagine a trillion of anything (it's a million million), but Shigeru Kondo calculated 5 trillion digits of pi in August of 2011... and then blew that away with 10 trillion digits!

It was only a couple of years ago that Fabrice Bellard had calculated 2.7 trillion (2.7 thousand thousand million) decimal digits of pi. It took over 130 days, but he did it with a single PC (running Linux) and a very powerful algorithm. You can read about it on his Web site or in this BBC news article. Unfortunately, the digits have not been fully verified with a second run using a different algorithm.

Previous records: In September, 1999, Dr. Kanada of the University of Tokyo calculated 206,158,430,000 decimal digits of pi (approx.3*2^36). In September 2002, he and his team broke their own world record, calculating 1.2411 trillion digits (over six times more than before). Click here for another news report. And in August 2009, they calculated and verified 2.5 trillion digits.

For more on world records, see this Wikipedia entry.

Cartoon displayed by permission of John Grimes.

Move one matchstick to make the equation approximately true.

One man's definition of pi (from Godling's Glossary, by Dave Krieger):

1.The Greek letter P or p, corresponding to the roman p.
2.A number, represented by said letter, expressing the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter. The value of pi has been calculated to many millions of decimal places, to no readily apparent purpose: no perfect circles or spheres exist in nature, since matter is composed of atoms and therefore lumpy, not smooth. Nature
herself sometimes takes to rounding off the more extreme decimals of numbers when they get sufficiently small, as Prof. Heisenberg has pointed out. However, the continued extension of pi provides a harmless exercise of computer power which would otherwise be misused playing Quake or surfing pointless web sites.