Swiss researchers have calculated the circle number pi more accurately than ever before. What is particularly interesting is their path to outcome.
3.141 … and you usually do not know much more when it comes to the decimals of the circular number Pi. It takes researchers from Switzerland with it pi however, more precisely. Much, much, much more precisely. A team at the Center for Data Analytics, Visualization and Simulation (DAViS) at Graubünden University of Applied Sciences has presented the most accurate calculation to date of the circular number Pi with 62.8 trillion digits behind the coma. This is a new world record. The Swiss have clearly surpassed the old record: the existing record was 50 trillion digits.
The team has thus managed to take a look behind the curtain of mathematics: 12.8 trillion hitherto unknown figures of Pi have now been revealed. The ten last known digits in Pi are now: 7817924264.
How much is pi? Swiss needed 108 days for calculation
The calculation with a high-performance computer took 108 days and 9 hours. It is almost twice as fast as the last record set by the search engine giant Google in 2019 and about three and a half times as fast as the last world record from 2020. The purpose of the project, however, is not solely in precise knowledge of the number series, but in the way to be able to calculate this series of numbers.
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“We wanted to achieve more goals with the record attempt,” says Heiko Rölke, head of DAViS. “During the preparation and execution of the calculations, we built up a lot of know-how and optimized our processes. It now comes primarily to our research partners, with whom we carry out computationally intensive projects within data analysis and simulation. ”
Computer can also be used for RNA analysis
Project manager Thomas Keller adds: “The calculation showed us that we are prepared for data and computing-intensive use in research and development. However, the calculation also drew our attention to weaknesses in the infrastructure, such as insufficient backup capacity.” To calculate the Pi decimals, the researchers used hardware that can also be used in RNA analysis, flow simulations or text analysis, and the record calculation is also a testament to their performance.
The calculation was performed using the y-Cruncher software. The computer program of the American developer Alexander Yee is designed to calculate mathematical constants as accurately as possible. It also works on a regular PC and standard operating system like Windows or Linux.
The DAViS team used a Linux operating system (Ubuntu 20.04) for computing because it offers various options to increase computing speed. Just as racing teams use every opportunity to make their cars even more efficient, mathematicians have turned off various security features, optimized the BIOS, and enabled an optimized I / O scheduler to make calculations run even more smoothly.
Pi: Speak with special properties
The number Pi, also known as Ludolph’s number or Archimedes’ constant, is a mathematical constant that describes the relationship between the circumference of the circle and the diameter of the circle. In other words, the circumference of a circle is about 3.14 times its diameter. The ratio is independent of the size of a circle. Pi has employed many mathematicians for thousands of years. The concept of pi was known as early as ancient Greece, and even the Babylonians already had acceptable approximations. The number Pi has special properties: it is an irrational number, ie a real, but not a rational number. It can not be represented as a ratio between two integers, ie not as a fraction.
Is the number pi infinite?
It does not matter how exactly Pi is calculated: you will never fully understand Pi because there are an infinite number of decimals. Nasa mathematicians, for example, round up – and do so relatively early after the decimal point. For NASA, Pi is of enormous importance in many maneuvers in space and in the calculation of orbits. Accuracy is extremely important here.
And yet, Nasa scientists usually use the number Pi to just 15 decimal places: 3.141592653589793. According to the US space agency, it is more than enough to calculate precise maneuvers.
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