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What Is The Pi Number In Maths And How To Use It?

By Ava, published on 26/02/2019 Blog > Academia > Maths > What Is The Number Pi?

If you are an advanced maths learner, you may have learnt about trigonometry (trig.), Pythagorean theorem, statistics, algebra, differential equations, equivalent fractions, geometry, probability, Scientific notation and other important mathematical concepts in the maths curriculum.

While mathematics can be overwhelming, it can also become fun math. It’s always important to remember the journey that you have taken with maths. In kindergarten, you would have struggled with basic math like Addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. In the primary grade math classroom, you may have struggled with a curriculum of times tables, adding and subtracting

In the early years of high school math, you may have struggled with arithmetic, calculus, graphing, sequences, fractions and algebraic math concepts.

Now you may be struggling with something else in your mathematics education, but like all of the times before if you focus and dedicate yourself. You will be able to grasp the new math concepts too. You may need to ask your math teacher for extra math help so that you can solve the math problem, or hire a tutor. Perhaps you can add some fun into your math learning and homework with math worksheets, quizzes, puzzles or math videos.

The good thing about math skills is that no matter how hard it appears if you reinforce your knowledge with lots of math practice and learning fun, you can understand any of the mathematical concepts introduced to you. This will lead you on to the road of mathematician mastery.

As you know math is intricately made up of so many kinds of number systems; whole numbers, negative numbers, symbols, decimal points, Exponent numbers, infinite numbers and much more. You may know special numbers like Some of these special numbers are seen with Euler’s e, the extraordinary number i, and of course the golden ratio.

But what about Pi? Let’s learn more about this special mathematical model

an advanced maths learner you may have learnt about trigonometry. Photo Source: Unsplash

What Is Pi?

Pi, Also called Archimedes constant, is an irrational number (it is impossible to write π =  p / q where p and q are integers).

Pi is represented by the Greek letter π, The letter π was chosen from the Greek name περίμετρος which means perimeter. The definition that everyone probably knows is that the number Pi is defined as the ratio between the circumference ( c) of a circle and its diameter (d). c/d=pi

All circles are similar, and it is enough to know the relationship of similarity to move from one circle to another. Pi is about equal to 3.1416, or it can be rounded up to 3.14; however, researchers and mathematicians have found more than 12 trillion decimal places of Pi. Don’t worry you don’t have to learn them all.

  • It is one of the most important constants in mathematics, and it is also used in physics and engineering.
  • Pi has been fascinating mathematicians and scientists since its discovery.
  • Pi is even celebrated in USA popular culture celebrated on March 14 (3/14) every year.

Mathematicians And The History Of Pi

Pi has been studied for thousands of years. The Egyptians and Babylonians are known to have investigated pi first estimating that pi was 3.125. It is amazing that they were so close given that there were no calculators, computers or the internet to help them to solve the equation.

In 220bc Archimedes the Greek mathematician set about to find out to measure pi accurately. He started his experiments by putting a square inside of a circle and a square outside of the circle. Doing some cool math, he got a range of number which gave him an estimation for pi. He then changed the squares for pentagons, and the number range got smaller and closer to pi. Then he replaced the pentagons with hexagons to get an even more precise estimation. He kept increasing the number of faces until he got to a 96 faced shape which got him to 2 decimal accuracy (3.14). This method has coined the method of exhaustion for obvious reasons.

  • Chinese mathematician Liu Hui discovered pi to 4 digits of accuracy by using a shape with 3072 sides (3.141)
  • Greek-Roman scientist Ptolemy used the method to get to 5 digits of accuracy (3.1415)
  • Chinese mathematicians Zu Chongzhi and Zu Gengzhi discovered pi to 7 digits of accuracy by using a shape with 12,288 sides (3.141592)
  • The modern-day record for pi calculations is held by Peter Trueb with 22,459,157,718,361 digits.

Pi remains a mystery for scientists and fascinates professionals and amateurs alike who try to find out more about this number. Even today, research is being conducted to learn more about the Pi number.

You can solve all math problems Now you may be struggling with something else in your mathematics education. Photo Source: Unsplash

How Is Pi Used?

Pi is not just about distracting students who are studying college algebra in math class to learn ever more challenging formulas to pass their Math exams or just to use algebraic formulas to calculate the perimeter, area and volume of a circle.

The number Pi has been used since antiquity by mathematicians, first to solve geometric problems, then in integral calculus and finally in the computation to calculate higher and higher decimals of Pi.

The Role Of Pi (Π) In Geometry

Geometry formulas involving Pi relate to circles and spheres.

Pi can be used to calculate:

  • Area of a disc,
  • Area of an ellipse of half-axes,
  • Area of a sphere,
  • Side area of a cylinder,
  • The lateral area of a cone.

And also volumes:

  • The volume of a ball,
  • Volume of a cylinder,
  • Volume of a cone.

The Role Of Pi In Probabilities And Statistics

Probability and statistics involving pi relates to the law of Cauchy and in the normal law of expectation and standard deviation.

Pi can be used to calculate:

  • Mathematicians have used π in probability experiments. Probabilities can be used to obtain an approximation of Pi. This is notably the case of the experiment called Buffon’s Needle.

Other uses of the number Pi

The number Pi is also used in mathematics formulas with:

Pi Is Also Present Everywhere In Our Daily Lives:

  • A clock works through a gear system that turns with teeth. The size of the teeth is defined by the constant distance between two points calculated using the number Pi,
  • Your electrical system probably operates on an alternating current. Pi is involved in this,
  • Also in your car, a few of the meters work based on the number of wheel turns, which depends itself on the perimeter of the wheel, which depends on Pi

The list could go on.

Coolmath: The Pi Obsession

The memorization of the number Pi becomes an obsession for many people.

  • Daniel Tammet, autistic Asperger recited 22,514 decimals in 2004.
  • This record was broken in 2005 by Lu Chao, who memorized and recited 67,890 decimals.
  • The Guinness World Record, records a new performance ten years later, by Indian Rajveer Meena who is able to recite 70,000 Pi
  • In Japan, the performance up to 100,000 Pi decimals was recited but it not validated by the Guinness World Record.
  • A Ukrainian neurosurgeon in 2009 claimed to know 30 million decimals, but once again, the record was not validated. It would have taken more than a year to recite all of these figures.

equations can solve the math problem You may need to ask your math teacher for extra math help. Photo Source: Unsplash

Cool Math Games: Have Fun Learning To Remember Pi

If you want to try reciting a pi up to a maximum of 15 decimals, then you can try these short poems. The number of letters of each word corresponds to a decimal in the pi sequence:

  • How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics! (3.14159265358979)
  • May I have a large container of coffee? Thank you! (3.141592653)
  • Yes, I have a number (3.1415)
  • How I wish I could calculate Pi (3.141592)

This gives you a total of the first 15 digits of pi, which is as easy to remember as telling time! If you want to learn how to recite 75 digits check out this other blog post where the poem is laid out for you. However even with 15 digits you can impress your friend, they probably won’t think that you are mathematically gifted. But it’s a nice fun math poem that you can sure with your math tutor and people on your math course.

Math Fun: Ways To Practice The Golden Ratio

You never learn or retain more knowledge than when you are having fun. Everyone enjoys something and if you can incorporate interactive math, with a math game, jigsaw or logic game like sudoku.

You can also adopt a new way to study math:

  1. Watch math videos on YouTube
  2. Go to free online math websites or Play online math games
  3. Attend free math study groups
  4. Write in your textbooks to remind yourself or any insights
  5. Research fun school lesson plans and gives them to your math tutor.

Following the math curriculum for your grade level can be very useful to make sure that you don’t fall behind. But memorizing square roots and core standards isn’t going to get you all the way. Don’t let math problems discourage you, have fun with maths because there really is no limit to its possibilities.

If you enjoy reading about the special numbers read more now on the prime numbers and the elusive perfect numbers

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