Meaning of Pi Day Explained

Meaning of Pi Day Explained | California Psychics

The Never Ending Number

If you press the “Num Lock” on your computer keyboard, hold the “Alt” key down while typing “227” on your numeric keypad – a magical symbol appears: π – pi.

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is better known as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716… and that numeric randomness would continue for infinity if you let it. There is actually no way to identify Pi using a number (because it has no ending), and that is why the Greek symbol is used. The more decibels you go out during any calculation involving Pi, the more precise your estimate will be. Just keep in mind that if you wanted to calculate the vast space of the known universe to within a single atom, the 41 numbers I gave you above would be all you would need. Okay, since I gave you that number, I’ll wait for you to finish with the rest of the calculations. After you spend time imagining what it would take to calculate such a distance, I’m sure you could use a holiday. You’re in luck because Pi Day is coming to a year near you.

More Than a Number

Pi Day is March 14 of every year (3.14). In 2015, the date of the holiday was actually 3.14.15. And then at 1:59 PM and 26 seconds on March 14 of any year, both the date and time recounted no less than seven of Pi’s decimals 3.14 1:59:26. This is the time you are supposed to be watching the Pi parade and eating a slice of “pie” (your choice of cream, pudding, fruit, or pepperoni). And I could go on and on about the coincidence of these numbers, but I won’t (you’re welcome).

So, now we know that Pi is a mathematics term for the circumference of a circle, it is celebrated on a date that makes about as much sense as it could, and that you get to eat pie (yum). But you should also know that its date is shared with the birth date of the famous physicist, Albert Einstein (known for E=MC2), and it could be the cheapest day to buy a whole pizza for just $3.14. Seriously, if you are a fan of Black Friday, Pi Day has all kinds of random sales on this day, including 31.4% computer discounts, and televisions for only $314. But let’s get back on topic.

Pi Day Origins

The day was officially founded by a physicist by the name of Larry Shaw in 1988 as a fun way to get people to see math as anything other than the boring, painful stuff you learned in school. It is also a day to appreciate the long history associated with people attempting to calculate the finite circumference of a circle. Hundreds of years ago we only knew the first couple of digits of Pi, but we also knew that there was more. Today, we’re proud to own the decimal out to the trillions, and some scientists are still counting with no end in sight.

Why bother to count a limitless number, you might wonder? Well, they are looking for a sign of either repeat or end. And they are also involved in a silent race to see who can count the farthest. There is even a man in Japan, Akira Haraguchi, who claims he has recited no less than 100,000 digits of Pi from memory, and it took him only 16 hours to finish. What I really wonder is if someone was reading along to check for errors.

And one more thing (as if these weren’t enough reasons to celebrate such an odd and quirky holiday). If you hold up “3.14” in a mirror, your eyes will read it as “PI.E”. Coincidence? I think not.


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2 thoughts on “Meaning of Pi Day Explained

  1. Psychic Adrianna

    ERic,
    This article is so fun! Thanks for this serendipitous piece. Enjoyed it immensely. Leads to mystery on top of more mystery!

    Reply
  2. Sapna bhavnani

    Hi I would like to share this on the Facebook page of mine so I can keep it for memory sake thank you

    Reply

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