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AWESOME THING OF THE DAY: What Pi Looks Like (Mostly)
April 30, 2012
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As anyone who has made it through high school math (or who has access to the internet) can tell you, the number known as pi refers to the ratio of a circle's circumference (i.e. the measurement of the outside of the circle) to its diameter (the measurement across its centre).

While it is usually represented as 3.14, pi is what's known as an irrational number: it cannot be calculated to a finite decimal place, which means that the digits following the decimal place in pi are endless.

That hasn't stopped some mathematicians from trying to see how much of pi's decimal sequence they can crack: Last year it was calculated to the 10th trillionth digit for the first time.

So what does pi actually look like? Design firm TWO-N Inc. has developed an amazing pictorial representation of the number, although only up to 4 million decimal places. Even at that relatively small fraction of pi's known digits, the image is mind-boggling, with each decimal place given a pixel-sized point coloured according to its numeric value.

Click on the image below to see the representation, which can be scrolled over to show you the specific digits of any single point on the chart:


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