The Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

What if Pi were a Repeating Number?

Date: 2/5/96 at 21:34:10
From: Anonymous
Subject: Significance of PI

I realize that Pi is a transcendental number. Would it be a big deal 
if Pi were eventually to be found a repeating number? If so, why? 

Would it change the way we compute circles, etc.?


Date: 3/28/96 at 17:59:35
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: Significance of PI

Hi Mark! Personally, I think that it would be QUITE significant if Pi 
were found to be repeating, since someone did a mathematical proof that 
Pi is transcendental.  It would lead me to question mathematical proof 
and the very existence of transcendental numbers.  (But I guess these 
things wouldn't bother everyone.)

As for changing the way we compute circles, no, not unless you're using 
more than 2 billion decimal places (~how many have been calculated 

One thing I've been thinking about recently: 

How is it possible for a series of numbers to have NO pattern to them?

It boggles my mind!

I'm particularly curious about what would happen if we secretly replaced 
the normal brand of cryptographers' work with some digits from pi... it
could be more exciting than the behind-the-scenes Folgers Crystals ads!

-Doctor Jodi,  The Math Forum

Associated Topics:
Middle School Pi

Search the Dr. Math Library:

Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.