Google breaks record for calculating digits of pi

March 14, 2019

The value of pi - the mathematical constant defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter - has been calculated to record precision by Google.

Although we may all remember the first few digits of pi from school mathematics lessons - 3.14159 etc - the string of numbers is infinitely long. The only question is how deep we want to go.

Now, an employee at Google called Emma Iwao has calculated pi to a record level, and did so in honour of "Pi Day", or 3/14, which is humorously celebrated in the US.

In an announcement made on Thursday, the Google staffer said her colleagues had successfully computed pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places.

To be specific, that means they calculated pi to 31,415,926,535,897 decimal places.

As a comparison, the number 31,415,926,535,897 is only 15 decimal places long.

As such, Google has won a Guinness World Records title.

Ms Iwao did this using Google's cloud computing service, and it took 25 virtual machines 121 days to complete the task.

She told CNN it was her "childhood dream, a longtime dream, to break the world record for pi".

Ms Iwao added that she had been working towards breaking the record since downloading software to attempt it on her personal computer when she was 12.

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