What is Pi Day? Fun facts and ways to celebrate – The Sun

MARCH 14 marks the annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi).

Here's everything you need to know about Pi Day.

What is Pi Day?

The maths event celebrates π, the term used to describe the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly shortened to 3.14159.

It has been traced back to Larry Shaw, a physicist who is believed to have held the first ever Pi Day celebration in 1988.

There’s no doubt that some will be disappointed that the day has nothing to do with food.

Despite this, revellers have been known to cook up a pie or two to mark the celebration.

These are often decorated with the mathematical symbol π.

When is Pi Day celebrated?

Every year, Pi Day is observed on March 14.

The event falls on this specific date because the first three significant digits of π are 3, 1 and 4.

In 2009, the US House of Representatives officially recognised the date as a national celebration.

Tech giant Google also created a special Doodle to mark the holiday in 2010.

As well as honouring pi, the celebration works to inspire further academic research and interest in maths and science.

Why do we celebrate Pi Day?

As the exact digits of the irrational number remain unknown, the mystery of π has continued to enthral academics.

The special constant shows up across many disciplines, including chemistry, physics and maths.

Although the official premise of the day is to honour π, many believe it’s more of a celebration of academia.

For this reason, schools, universities and museums across the globe encourage festivities.

You can celebrate by baking pies, throwing pies, or if you want a more mathematical approach learning as many digits as possible.

Here's the first ten to get you started… 3.1415926535.

Here are 7 fun facts about Pi

1. It’s the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet

2. It was proved to be an irrational number in the 18th Century

3. There are no occurrences of the sequence 123456 in the first million digits of pi

4. The World Record for memorising the digits of pi belongs to Lu Chao, from China. The maths whizz was able to recall the first 67,890 numbers

5. Using a powerful computer, the Hitachi SR 8000, a Japanese scientist found 1.24 trillion digits of Pi, breaking all the previous records

6. Pi Day falls on March 14, which is German genius Albert Einstein’s birthday

7. Pi has featured in many a Hollywood blockbuster, as it was used as the secret code in Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain and also in The Net, which stars Sandra Bullock

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