Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Pi Day: Google celebrates mathematical constant with a special doodle

Pi Day: Google celebrates mathematical constant with a special doodle

March 14 is Pi Day - that's pi, not pie - and today, Google marks the 30th anniversary of the math-inspired holiday with a special Doodle. Dubbed Pi Day, this comes right after Google recognised William Henry Perkins who had first discovered a synthetic purple coloured dye used in clothing and painting. The doodle has been baked and built by award-winning pastry chef and creator of the Cronut, Dominique Ansel. In today's doodle, an image of ingredients used to bake a salted caramel apple "pie" - Google puns on the word - hints at the tradition of eating pies on this day.

But adding new digits is little more than a pastime for mathematics fanatics: NASA's Jet Propulsion lab only uses 15 digits to calculate interplanetary travel, while mathematician James Grime argues that just 39 digits of pi is enough to calculate the circumference of the known universe.

Did you know that there is Pi language? Mike Keith wrote a book "Not A Wake" entirely in Pilish. Wondering how? Draw a circle with a protractor and then measure its diameter or radius with a ruler.

Mathematician Archimedes used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and determined that Pi was approximately 22/7. The website also has a record of the problems from previous years.

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Pi does not belong in the category of normal numbers, at least it is believed so by Mathematicians.

It is believed that physicist Larry Shaw was the first to celebrate the day at the Exploratorium in San Francisco with his peers and staff nearly 30 years ago.

March 14 is celebrated as Pi Day when the date lines up in the numbers of the famous constant. This involves the calculation of Martian earthquakes, the helium rain on Jupiter and the rotation rate of asteroids and even the solar eclipse.

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