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.? -Mark
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 already)! 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
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.