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i From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the number p.

For the Greek letter, see Pi (letter). For o ther uses of pi, p, and ?, see Pi (disambiguation). Page semi-protected Part of a series of articles on the mathematical constant p Pi-unrolled-720.gif Uses Area of disk Circumference Use in other formulae Properties Irrationality Transcendence Value Less than 22/7 Approximations Memorization People Archimedes Liu Hui Zu Chongzhi Madhava of Sangamagrama William Jones John Machin John Wrench Ludolph van Ceulen Aryabhata History Chronology Book In culture Legislation Holiday Related topics Squaring the circle Basel problem Feynman point Other topics related to p v t e The number p is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumfe rence to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been repres ented by the Greek letter "p" since the mid-18th century, though it is also some times written as "pi" (/pa?/). p is an irrational number, which means that it ca nnot be expressed exactly as a ratio of any two integers (fractions such as 22/7 are commonly used to approximate p; no fraction can be its exact value); conseq uently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern. The digits appear to be randomly distributed, although no pr oof of this has yet been discovered. p is a transcendental number a number that is not the root of any nonzero polynomial having rational coefficients. The tran scendence of p implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of s quaring the circle with a compass and straight-edge. For thousands of years, mathematicians have attempted to extend their understand ing of p, sometimes by computing its value to a high degree of accuracy. Before the 15th century, mathematicians such as Archimedes and Liu Hui used geometrical techniques, based on polygons, to estimate the value of p. Starting around the 15th century, new algorithms based on infinite series revolutionized the computa tion of p, and were used by mathematicians including Madhava of Sangamagrama, Is aac Newton, Leonhard Euler, Carl Friedrich Gauss, and Srinivasa Ramanujan. In the 20th and 21st centuries, mathematicians and computer scientists discovere d new approaches that when combined with increasing computational power extended the decimal representation of p to, as of late 2011, over 10 trillion (1013) di gits. [1] Scientific applications generally require no more than 40 digits of p, so the primary motivation for these computations is the human desire to break r ecords, but the extensive calculations involved have been used to test supercomp uters and high-precision multiplication algorithms. Because its definition relates to the circle, p is found in many formulae in tri gonometry and geometry, especially those concerning circles, ellipses, or sphere s. It is also found in formulae from other branches of science, such as cosmolog y, number theory, statistics, fractals, thermodynamics, mechanics, and electroma gnetism. The ubiquitous nature of p makes it one of the most widely known mathem atical constants, both inside and outside the scientific community: Several book s devoted to it have been published; the number is celebrated on Pi Day; and rec ord-setting calculations of the digits of p often result in news headlines. Seve ral people have endeavored to memorize the value of p with increasing precision, leading to records of over 67,000 digits.

3 Infinite series 2.2 Complex numbers and analysis 4.1 Name 1.1 Computer era and iterative algorithms 3.2 Polygon approximation era 2.5 Approximate value 2 History 2.2 Definition 1.5 Adoption of the symbol p 3 Modern quest for more digits 3.2 Memorizing digits 5.3 Properties 1.2 Motivations for computing p 3.4 Irrationality and transcendence 2.Contents [hide] 1 Fundamentals 1.4 Continued fractions 1.1 Antiquity 2.1 Geometry and trigonometry 4.3 In popular culture 6 See also 7 Notes 8 Further reading 9 External links .3 Rapidly convergent series 3.1 Describing physical phenomena 5.3 Number theory and Riemann zeta function 4.4 Probability and statistics 5 Outside mathematics 5.4 Spigot algorithms 4 Use 4.