Happy Pi day!
As you likely know, pi (π) is a mathematical constant found in all circles. Perhaps you remember the old joke from geometry class: “πR2? No, pie are round.” (Hardy-har.) Since pi’s decimal expansion starts off 3.14… and today’s date is 3/14, it’s the perfect day to celebrate Pi and to feel wonder at the mathematically amazing world we get to live in.
Taking Pi’s numerical sequence further, we get the exact moment of 9:26 today. If you missed it this morning, take advantage of the 12-hour clock option and nab another chance this evening to eat cosmic pi.
Perhaps you, like me, tend more toward greater skills in the arts or humanities than in mathematics. Well, you need not be left out. Here’s a super nerdy-cool thing to do: play with the connection between math and poems by trying to write a “PIEM” – that is, a poem where the number of letters in each word yields the sequence of pi’s digits.
This really exists! Cadaeic.net tells us how to write in “Pilish”:
“The idea of writing a sentence (or longer piece of poetry or prose) in which the lengths of successive words represent the digits of the number π (=3.14159265358979…) has been around since the early 1900’s. One of the earliest and most well-known examples is the following sentence, believed to have been composed by the English physicist Sir James Jeans:
“How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!
The first word in this sentence has 3 letters, the next word 1 letter, the next word 4 letters, and so on, following the first fifteen digits of the number π.”
Two longer examples of poetic Pilish offered by mathematician Nick Yates are Near a Raven, Mike Keith’s retelling of a poem by none other than Edgar Allen Poe (written in the more forgiving form known as “standard Pilish”), and this century-old piem.
Yates also shared a recording of the sound of pi (this one uses pi in base 12 to match up with the chromatic scale). How cool is that?
Finally, you can play with your mathematical food visually as well. Look at this gorgeous example of secret geometry based on circles.
From the blog World Mysteries
Photo (c) Kenneth Vincent
Pi can be found everywhere!
If you want to get it down to the second, celebrate Pi Day exactly at 3.141592653589793238462643383279.
The universe is full of so many wonders. What’s your favorite kind of pi?
Pi pie image nabbed from lbtimes.co.uk
Pi mandala image (c) David Reimannn, found here
See more math wizardry from Nick Yates at nyates314.wordpress.com