14. March 2019

Discover π!


It’s π-day and Google today announced a new world record in computing most digits of π. Emma Haruka Iwao, Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform, computed 31,415,926,535,897 digits of pi and realized the first record performed on a commercial cloud service. Congratulations!

The new record outnumbers our previous record by 9 trillion digits. An interesting question is whether we should think of these new digits as having been discovered or invented. While the former view seems more intuitive, mathematical nominalists, who argue that numbers have no existence independent of human thoughts, favor the latter position. Learn more about this dispute in a recent article authored by DECTRIS employee Peter Trüb for the “Measure for Measure” column of Nature Physics.

In case you prefer hands-on tinkering with the digits of pi to mathematical philosophy, DECTRIS now offers to download all 22.4 trillion decimal digits or all 18.6 trillion hexadecimal digits of its former record from Google drive. Prerequisites for a successful download are sufficient disk space and a fast internet connection. Whether you use the digits to compose music, to draw visualization, or to write scientific papers, please let us know about your creations.

If trillions of digits are too overwhelming, you can try to remember at least the first few digits of π with the help of this little pi game. The goal is to discover the longest chain with the digits of pi within a net of random digits. What sounds to be an easy task, turns into a fiddly puzzle with a large and dense net as presented to you on expert level.

DECTRIS wishes a happy π-day with many discoveries in the fascinating world of mathematics!