Calculation Of Pi Sets Record
October 20, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
TOKYO, Oct. 19 (UPI) — A U.S. computer scientist and a Japanese systems engineer say they’ve computed the value of pi to 10 trillion digits, doubling the previous Guinness record.
Calculating so many digits of pi — the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — serves no useful mathematical purposes since pi is an infinite number, but the quest to calculate the curious ratio sparks intense passion, NewScientist.com reported Wednesday.
Alexander Yee wrote the pi-calculating software and engineer Shigeru Kondo ran it on his custom-built PC, augmented with 10 more hard drives than used in a previous attempt.
The intense calculations required caused Kondo’s computer to heat the air in its room to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
“We could dry the laundry immediately, but we had to pay 30,000 yen [$400] a month for electricity,” Kondo’s wife Yukkio told The Japan Times.
For those thinking of writing out the answer, note that the 10 trillionth digit is a 5.
Yee and Kondo calculated pi to 5 trillion digits in 2010, doubling the existing record at the time.