“But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically.”
- Rene Descartes
|Image taken from Wikipedia|
No matter what I wanted to write about today it will have to wait. Today the whole world acknowledges the extraordinary Pi Day and I have to say it's an event interesting enough to give it a mention. In the process we can learn a thing or two and I'm always a game for learning.
Today at precisely 9:26:53 am (which already passed) and again in the evening we will be suspended in the Pi moment. Today's date and time taken together represent the actual first 10 digits of the Pi number: 3.141592653. This will not happen again for a hundred years.
Pi is a mathematical symbol and it stands for the ratio of circle's circumference to its diameter. It is an irrational number which means it can't be represented by a common fraction. It never ends and its digits never settle into permanent repeating pattern.
William Jones, a self taught mathematician, is thought to be the first to notice the characteristics of this bizarre number and he published his findings in 1706 in his work Synopsis palmariorum matheseos. He wrote:
“The exact proportion between the diameter and the circumference can never be expressed in numbers”
He is also the one who picked the Greek letter π to represent the number.
Internationally the Pi number is celebrated every year on March 14 at 1:59:26 pm (3.1415926) but this year we go two steps (or numbers) further. Last year the entire March was celebrated (3.14). I never realized the extent of the Pi fever until today.
That is probably so because I've never been in love with Pi. I remember this pesky number from my school years and the headaches that it caused. To tell you the truth, mathematics was never my favourite subject. I knew the importance of it, I got to be good at it and earned excellent marks, but I never really enjoyed it. Especially the geometry, which I love in itself but not as mathematical representations.
And now that I've acknowledged this special day it's time to go and make myself some Pi Day tea. And maybe something to eat. Looking at the pie in the picture made me hungry, real hungry, but although I think it would be fitting to have a piece of pie, I don't think I have any in the house.