It has been an investigation that has lasted for Millenia. Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Europeans, and more have investigated the phenomena known as Pi. There is even a belief the Hebrews included a piece of the mystery in 1 Kings 7.23. It is fascinating though a bit mind blowing. But it is Archimedes that gets the most credit.
This mysterious and magical number has been calculated over and over … and no end to the series of numbers after the decimal has been calculated. The record of Pi Slicing is to the two-quadrillionth digit. That’s 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit. That’s a lot of Pi slices. It took 23 days on a thousand computers to get that. On regular PC, it would have taken 500 years.
Now, what’s even better is the history of Pie, which dates back further in history … over 6000 years. My fav, a good apple pie. Though French Silk is a close second.
All this is to just let you know there are still great mysteries, things to blow people’s minds, and wonderful depth to this great creation.
So enjoy a mystery, and have a slice of pie today. Only one day a year is it Pi Day.
See a great Pie article here.
See a great Pi article from Rutgers here.
The paragraph about the Biblical use is this …
Chronologically, the next approximation of pi is found in the Old Testament. A fairly well known verse, 1 Kings 7:23, says: “Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about” (Blatner, 13). This implies that pi = 3. Debates have raged on for centuries about this verse. According to some it was just a simple approximation, while others say that “… the diameter perhaps was measured from outside, while the circumference was measured from inside” (Tsaban, 76). However, most mathematicians and scientists neglect a far more accurate approximation for pi that lies deep within the mathematical “code” of the Hebrew language. In Hebrew, each letter equals a certain number, and a word’s “value” is equal to the sum of its letters. Interestingly enough, in 1 Kings 7:23, the word “line” is written Kuf Vov Heh, but the Heh does not need to be there, and is not pronounced. With the extra letter , the word has a value of 111, but without it, the value is 106. (Kuf=100, Vov=6, Heh=5). The ratio of pi to 3 is very close to the ratio of 111 to 106. In other words, pi/3 = 111/106 approximately; solving for pi, we find pi = 3.1415094… (Tsaban, 78). This figure is far more accurate than any other value that had been calculated up to that point, and would hold the record for the greatest number of correct digits for several hundred years afterwards. Unfortunately, this little mathematical gem is practically a secret, as compared to the better known pi = 3 approximation.