Today Is the 30th Anniversary of Pi Day. Here's What You Should Know About the Irrational Number

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March 14, 2018, is Pi Day — that’s pi, not pie — and on Wednesday, Google marks the 30th anniversary of the math-inspired holiday with a special Doodle.

Pi, denoted by the Greek letter “π”, has been part of human knowledge for millennia, but it wasn’t until 1988 that physicist Larry Shaw organized what is now recognized as the first “Pi Day” celebration at the San Francisco Exploratorium science museum. Shaw chose March 14, or 3.14 — the first three digits of pi — as Pi Day. Shaw died last year, but Pi Day is still celebrated by lovers of mathematics around the world.

What Is Pi?

Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It’s an important part of the foundation of mathematics, most importantly geometry, where pi is key to equations calculating the area of a circle, A = πr2, and the volume of a cylinder, V = πr2h.

How Many Numbers Are in Pi?

Pi is a mathematical constant, meaning it isn’t changed by the size of the numbers it’s used to equate, and it is irrational, meaning it has an infinite number of digits that never repeat. The rise of computing technology has led to an arms race of sorts to calculate ever more digits of pi: the current record was set last year by Christian physicist Peter Trueb, calculated pi to 22.4 trillion digits — 22,459,157,718,361, to be exact — outpacing the previous record set in 2013 by 9 million digits.

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STEPHEN Hawking couldn’t have calculated a better date to die.

Social media users have been pointing out that the 76-year-old physicist’s passing fell on March 14, also known as National Pi Day.

The date is referred to as such because it coincides with the first three digits of pi — 3.14 — referring to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

It’s seen as a day to celebrate mathematics and science, and even includes discounts on pies and pizzas.

And if Professor Hawking’s passing on this day wasn’t eerie enough, it’s also been pointed out that Albert Einstein was born on the same day. He would have turned 139 this year.

Stephen Hawking passed away on National Pi Day

STEPHEN Hawking couldn’t have calculated a better date to die. Social media users are now questioning whether his passing on March 14 was a freaky coincidence.

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