Carl Sagan's Pi: The Transcendental Number

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Pi: The Transcendental Number The Greek symbol ԉ is used to denote an important mathematical constant. Simply put, it is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This ratio has been found to be constant, no matter what the size of the circle. Pi is an Irrational Number, which means that it can’t be written as a fraction. It is an unending decimal number. The number 2/7, when written in the decimal form is also unending. But after 6 digits, it repeats itself. It is 0.285714285714285714… An Irrational Number like Pi does not end and does not repeat itself. The exact value of Pi has remained a mystery since ancient times. Mathematicians, who have been trying to determine the value of Pi can only come closer and closer to the…show more content…
In Pi: Faith in Chaos, a man goes mad trying to make sense of Pi. In the novel Contact by the cosmologist Carl Sagan (Cosmos was also made into a very successful film), humans study Pi to gain deeper awareness of the…show more content…
He assigned numbers 0-9 to 10 musical notes, played the notes corresponding to first 32 digits of Pi and then built a symphony around this tune. ‘I prefer Pi’ is a palindrome, which means that it reads the same forward or backwards. In 1999, In 2010, two researchers in Japan wrote a special program to calculate the value of Pi and ran it on their computer. The computer worked for 90 days to produce a world record 5 trillion digits (5,000,000,000,000), before it gave up and crashed. But that record lasted only for three years. In 2013, a researcher at the Santa Clara University in America calculated the value of Pi to 8 quadrillion digits (that’s 8 followed by 15 zeroes)! Who knows how long this record will last. But people have been trying to calculate Pi for thousands of years. This ratio has been recognized for as long as we have written records. A ratio 3:1 appears in a Biblical verse as well. Ancient Egyptians calculated the area of a circle using the formula (8d/9)2, where d is the diameter. This gives 3.1609 as the value of
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