How do people measure pi?

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David Barwick

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How do people measure pi?
« on: 22/02/2010 10:30:02 »
David Barwick asked the Naked Scientists:
We've all heard the story about Pi being known to have infinite decimal places, but how do/did people actually measure this ratio?

I can envisage a trundle wheel tracing the circumference of a giant circle marked on a field somewhere, but I can only assume it's more scientific than that...?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 22/02/2010 10:30:02 by _system »


Offline Bored chemist

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How do people measure pi?
« Reply #1 on: 22/02/2010 19:30:59 »
That can't be random. It has my phone number in it.
Anyway, there are some people who really do measure pi.'s_needle
It's a lot of hard work to get relatively few places of decimals.
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Offline stereologist

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How do people measure pi?
« Reply #2 on: 23/02/2010 02:46:15 »
Today these series are computed by computers, but back in the late 1500s Ludolph van Ceulen computed pi to some 30 decimal places, but it took most of his life time to do. He was so proud of his life's work that he had pi engraved on his tombstone.