Mathematics Throughout History

The Creation of Zero and Pi

What is the value of pi?

Pi is a number, a constant, and to twenty places, it is equal to 3.14159265358979323846. But it doesn’t end there: Pi is an infinite decimal. In other words, it has an infinite number of numbers to the right of the decimal point. Thus, no one will ever know the “end” number for pi. Not that mathematicians will stop trying any time soon. Today’s supercomputers and networks of computers continue to work out the value of pi. On October 2011, Japanese and American computer experts Shigeru Kondo and Alexander Yee said they had calculated the value of π to ten trillion decimal places on a personal computer, which is double the previous record. (For more about pi and computers, see “Math in Computing.”)


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