Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Physics (part 4) - Einstein and Pi

Pie takes the cake

When I turned 7 years-old, I picked a scrumptious birthday cake with a ton of delicious looking icing on it. It was so sugary sweet that it made me sick. Ever since, I preferred pie over cake for my birthday. Or you could say, in my world, pie takes the cake.

Here's another story about birthdays and pie. Or should I say...

One special birthday and Pi

Pi, the Greek letter (shown to the left), denotes the irrational number resulting from the ratio of the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter.
[reference: Pi ]

And it appears in more complex mathematical equations, such as:

* Pi
* Pi
*  livescience.vom: What Makes Pi So Special

And numerous sites calculate Pi's never ending digits.

This one displays it out to one million digits:  one million digits of Pi   Another site went for over 12 trillion digits: Pi - 12.1 Trillion Digits

Pi and the edge of the universe

But let's be practical. You only need 39 digits of Pi to measure the circumference of the known universe within the width of a single hydrogen atom:  How Many Digits of Pi Do You Really Need?

Pi on earth

For accuracy good enough for macro purposes, Pi is rounded to 3.14 or 3.1416.

Now, this last number, 3.1416, correlates to our 2016 calendar: 3/14/16. Otherwise,

March 14, 2016

And Pi Day (March 14th) has become a big tradition as well as many teachable moments.

*  Pi Day
*  7 Classroom Resources for Pi Day
*  Pi Day 2016: Events, Activities, & History

But I like the video below that celebrates Pi by calculating Pi with Pie:

Now, we covered Pi Day, what about birthdays?

It just so happens, Pi Day shares a birthday with a famous scientist, Albert Einstein!

Einstein's Birthday is March 14, 1879

And the short video below celebrates Einstein's life, his remarkable achievements, and his birthday that ends with Pi!

As a 7 year-old girl, who knew? I would be celebrating my birthday, like Einstein's birthday, not with cake - but with Pi ... I mean Pie!



Previous posts in this series:

Physics (part 1) - Picking Feynman's Brain (2013)

Physics (part 2) - Flat Earth? It depends ...  (2015)

Physics (part 3) - 100 years of Einstein (2015) 


Photo: Einstein_1921/Wikipedia

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