Every March 14, math enthusiasts around the world celebrate the mathematical constant known as pi, often written simply as 3.14.
Pi describes the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it represents an infinite string of numbers. Computers have calculated pi out to 10 trillion digits, but the first 10 go like this: 3.141592653
What makes 3/14/15 so special for pi fans is that it is the only day this century that will have the first five digits of pi — 3.1415. Since the next digits are 92653, most people have chosen 9:26 p.m. to mark the ultimate pi moment. (Sticklers can wait for the clock to read 53 seconds.)
Humans have been thinking about pi for nearly 4,000 years. The ancient Babylonians figured out that pi’s value was roughly 3 as far back as 1900 BC. Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes determined that pi was slightly bigger than 22/7.
The annual celebration of pi is a much more recent invention, however. Larry Shaw, a physicist at the Exploratorium science museum in San Franciso is credited with creating Pi Day in 1988.
Watch out for drunken math geeks running naked in the streets and screaming “I love pi!” The pi parties at Dandy Tiger’s place are legendary.
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