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Today is National Pi day and being a Math lover, I wouldn't miss this opportunity to write about the importance of Pi in nature and our daily lives!
So, what exactly is Pi? It is the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. Centuries ago, mathematicians spent their entire lives calculating the number Pi and eventually, Archimedes most closely approximated the value of Pi to 3.141528...... The number of digits does not end and hence it is an irrational number. The reason mathematicians spent so much time approximating the value of Pi because they knew the importance of this number in applications not only confined to Math but figuring out how different processes work in nature, astronomy, architecture, and pretty much anything that involves curves, circles, and spheres. In the 2nd World War, Alan Turing designed a system to decipher the military codes that the Germans used to attack their enemies. Winston Churchill later quoted this code to be the decisive factor in winning that war. Alan Turing used Pi extensively in his system.
Today, the approximation of Pi is used to test the power of computers, supercomputers and quantum computers. The most powerful of them have approximated the value of Pi up to a few trillion digits. To amaze you little more, Pi can be used in equations that measure ocean waves, sound waves, light waves, radio waves, electromagnetic waves, radioactive particle distribution, probability, the formation of stripes and spots in animal fur coats, study population dynamics, behavior of fluid ripples, GPS navigation, and so much more!
As a designer, we use circles and ellipses a lot in making 3D models, visualization sketches, and much more to make our designs. So, I have always been fascinated by the use of Math in design and pretty much anything in nature. Pi is one of the few important numbers that are used in processes that govern the laws of nature. Alan Turing published a paper in which he tried to find 1 mathematical model that explained all patterns found in nature. You can find more information about this in the above video.
You might be surprised to know that you have used Pi too in many situations in your life knowingly or unknowingly. Just like the beautiful starry night sky amazes us (P.S. Pi is used in space travel too!), Pi, and nature, amaze us in just about so many ways then we can imagine. It's just a matter to observe and try to understand and make use of them in our daily lives.
On the national Pi day, here's to all the mathematicians who spent their lives approximating Pi, Archimedes, Alan Turing, and countless other designers, engineers, architects, and makers who use Pi in their work.
Happy Pi day!
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