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Researchers in Switzerland Calculate the Value of Pi to a Record of 62.8 Trillion Digits

Posted by Guy Pirro 08/19/2021 03:52AM

Researchers in Switzerland Calculate the Value of Pi to a Record of 62.8 Trillion Digits

By early Saturday morning, August 14th, it was clear -- The world record calculation for the number Pi had fallen to a Swiss team at the University of Applied Sciences in Graubunden. The record is now back in Switzerland after two previous American world records. The high performance computer at the Center for Data Analytics, Visualization, and Simulation (DAViS) exceeded the old world record of 50 trillion digits by adding 12.8 trillion new, previously unknown digits to the back-end of the irrational number known the world over as Pi. The last ten known digits of Pi are now 3.1415926535…7817924264.


Comments:

  • Magilke [Matt Magilke]
  • 08/19/2021 04:05AM
Guy,
The headline should read 62.8 trillion, not 6.28 trillion.

Matt:

Good catch -- Thanks for the heads-up.

This is the perfect example of what can happen when I post news items at midnight.

Thanks,

Guy

  • ks1u [George Blahun]
  • 08/19/2021 03:32PM
I find this fascinating, but I have always wondered about how we can precisely measure the figures used to calculate the pi series, even if we don't compensate for the curvature of space.

  • Magilke [Matt Magilke]
  • 08/25/2021 08:45PM
Are there any practical benefits to this type of exercise, or is this just something scientists do when they're bored?
Good question Matt. I'll give you my opinion.

Achieving a world record in anything is hard to do and these researchers deserve a lot of credit for what they were able to accomplish.

But I believe that the real value in this work is not so much in the fact that we now know the number Pi to 62.8 trillion digits, but rather in what was learned by the researchers during the process of achieving their results.

Be it specialized software or hardware or algorithms – that’s where the value is because the approaches that were used and the nuggets of information that were discovered along the way can now be applied to other types of difficult problems. The article mentions RNA analyses and flow simulations as two possible future applications.

The article also mentions that this work is “of particular benefit to our research partners,” so it seems that someone is paying for this work and hoping to derive some practical use from it in the future.

So in the future, when we calculate the value of Pi or “e” (Euler’s Number) or the Square Root of two (Pythagoras’s Number) to 100 trillion digits, or when we find the next largest Prime Number or Fibonacci Number, the approach that will be used to solve the problem will be the valuable “take-away” from the effort.

Guy Pirro

  • Magilke [Matt Magilke]
  • 08/26/2021 03:20AM

@Princeton

Excellent! Thanks for the reply.


  • eranbob [Robert Campbell]
  • 08/28/2021 01:04AM
The point? Investigating whether Sagan (ref Contact the book) was right. Still have about 6 orders of magnitude to go! (wink wink!)