How I pick a subject to write about is like a walk down the proverbial yellow brick road. At times the obvious news that must be addressed, such as Coronavirus becomes my theme. Other times images and ideas just jump into my mind and won’t leave until I write about them. Then, like today, as I walked passed the telly my ears caught a character teaching a class full of kids about the mystery and magic called Pi. I got hooked and here we are. How does a thinking person walk away from tracking infinity? So here we go…
Pi = 3.14159265359 The number Pi is a mathematical constant. It is defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter and it also has various equivalent definitions. It appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics . It is approximately equal to 3.14159
Pi is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is used to represent the most widely known mathematical constant. Pi equals the circumference divided by the diameter ( pi = c/d) = approx. 3.14
For one thing Pi describes a perfect circle and this is included in any formula that describes a circle or some form of repetition, from a heart beat to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. And in another sense, Pi is anything random. After all, the number embodies the order of a perfect circle. For any circle you can imagine, if you divide the distance around the circle by the distance across it , you will get Pi, or 3.141592653589793284626433832795881… We could keep going, but you get the picture.
Pi has the appearance of being random ( or, more accurately “uniformly distributed”) meaning that, as its digits continue, there is an equal chance of any digit between 0 and 9 appearing . In the first six billion digits of Pi, each of the digits 0 through 9 shows up about 6 hundred million times.
If Pi were truly random, that would mean that he number sequence in Pi would never repeat itself, and — it would contain all patterns in existence. Any word that you could think of, in encoded numbers, would show up in Pi. As Cornell mathematician Steven Strogatz writes for The New Yorker, “Pi is so special in part because it puts infinity within our reach.” ( Washington Post and Wikipedia)
Note: this first part about Pi tell you the formula as a ratio and as a plain formula, That Pi is random but isn’t random. What caught me and enticed me to want more is that only Pi puts us in touch with infinity. It’s other than, it’s more than, it’s heavenly. Part two coming up soon.