День числа пи

It is a mystic coincidence that the world, and especially the Americans mark the Day of Number Pi on the date of Einstein’s birthday. The annual festivities take place at the Interactive Science Museum in San Francisco and begin one minute to 2 p.m., i.e., 3. 14.1. 59. The people celebrating the holiday sing songs, play games with Pi and tell stories. Let us tell a story too. Do you know why the ratio of circle’s circumference to its diameter was named Pi? It is the first letter of Greek word perimetros, which means length. Let us offer the choice of mnemonic phrases for memorizing this infinite decimal fraction – from modest “What do I know about circles?” and “The one who wants to know Pi number easily and quickly has learned it already” to the poem about record holder of the 19th century William Shanks who spent his life on calculating Pi number to 707 places.

Having secluded himself in the middle of nowhere,

Old Shanks was calculating Pi for days and years.

Being surprised at his hard work,

We all praise him to the sky.

These 707 digits were applied on the ceiling of Discovery Palace in Paris. However, the museum’s administration had to renovate the ceiling afterwards, as the last 180 digits turned out to be wrong. If they listened to the General Assembly of Indiana which decided in 1897 to consider Pi as equal to 4, they could avoid both mistakes and renovation.