The human race’s relationship with Pi began a long time ago, estimated anywhere between 1900 to 1600 BC. Ever since then, the quest to know its true value is on!
What is Pi? It is a mathematical constant that starts with 3.1415… and was originally defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is often used for geometric calculations and is also known as Archimedes’ Constant.
This Archimedes’ Constant has intrigued mathematicians for several centuries. Ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, as well as Indian mathematicians, strived to calculate its accurate value.
On March 14, which is also celebrated as the World Pi Day, Google says it joined them by releasing the most accurate value of Pi to date. It has computed Pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places – 31,415,926,535,897 digits after the decimal, to be precise. Not just that, this achievement has also broken the last Guinness World Records, held by Peter Trueb, for calculating the most accurate Pi value by 9 trillion digits.
Google says it used y-cruncher, a Pi-benchmark program developed by Alexander Yee – which computed the value of Pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places through cloud computing. The entire calculation needed a whopping 170TB of data to complete.
The value was calculated using Google Cloud’s Compute Engine with 25 nodes and took 121.1 days or around 4 months to complete. During these four months, Google did not turn off its cloud server, even for once, to let it finish calculating.
Pi Day was first celebrated in 1988 by the physicist Larry Shawand and is celebrated across the world ever since. While NASA throws a challenge to the scientific community every year – to solve four problems using Pi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sends out its application decision letters to selected students on Pi Day. Princeton University, on the other hand, hosts several events to celebrate Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, which is also March 14.
So, what’s the most accurate value of Pi now?
It is 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664………….6394399712 5311093276 9814355656 1840037499 3573460992 (the last few digits).