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### Digits of Pi

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Date: 6/14/96 at 19:44:41
From: MR ADAM B MINGAL
Subject: The digits of pi

How many digits of the ratio "pi" have we figured out, and what are
they? 3.14159............. Is it endless?  How did people figure it
out?  From where did it evolve?

Was there an experiment testing the ratio? Who invented the 'magic'
number? Is it Greek?

Sincerely,
Adam Mingal, 14 yrs old
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Date: 6/19/96 at 10:49:35
From: Doctor Peter
Subject: Re: The digits of pi

Pi is an example of what is known as an irrational number, meaning
that it cannot be expressed as a ratio (fraction) of two integers.  In
other words, there is no EXACT decimal equivalent, although 3.1415926
is good enough for many applications.

The ancient Egyptians had an idea of the concept of pi being about
equal to 3; that was about 4000 years ago.  I know computers have
been used to calculate pi to somewhere around a million digits, but
I am not sure how far that has been done.

I almost forgot, the "formal" definition of pi: the ratio between the
circumference and diameter of a circle.

- Doctor Pete  The Math Forum
Be sure to visit our website! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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Associated Topics:
Middle School Pi

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