π Day and the Futility of Calculating All of Those Digits

Pi Day (March 14), 2015 is as good a day as any to address this issue. As you might already know, π is an irrational number.

It has an infinite number of non repeating/non terminating digits after the decimal point. There is no shortage of sources where this number has been calculated to thousands of digits. However, after a certain point, this particular point,

3.1415 9265 3589 7932 3846 2643 3832 7950 2884 1971 6939 9375 1058 2097 4944 5923

the digits of pi become moot and irrelevant. Memorizing, calculating, or recording it is completely unnecessary for the following reason.

The universe is estimated to have a circumference of 292 billion light years.

The smallest unit of length in the universe is the Planck length (1.616199 × 10e-35 meters).

The circumference of the universe in relation to the Planck lengthis 1.7 × 10e62 Planck lengths.

In any calculation of length that you do, once you reach the Planck length level, there are no more decimal points. A Planck length cannot be broken down into smaller units. You'll have to round up to one Planck length, or down to the other. Those are the only two options. Nature has spoken. Any real world measurement that you do in the entire universe will not

require π go beyond 64 places.This is true of all measurements. To measure beyond 64 decimal places is futile.

Pi Day (March 14), 2015 is as good a day as any to address this issue. As you might already know, π is an irrational number.

It has an infinite number of non repeating/non terminating digits after the decimal point. There is no shortage of sources where this number has been calculated to thousands of digits. However, after a certain point, this particular point,

3.1415 9265 3589 7932 3846 2643 3832 7950 2884 1971 6939 9375 1058 2097 4944 5923

the digits of pi become moot and irrelevant. Memorizing, calculating, or recording it is completely unnecessary for the following reason.

The universe is estimated to have a circumference of 292 billion light years.

The smallest unit of length in the universe is the Planck length (1.616199 × 10e-35 meters).

The circumference of the universe in relation to the Planck lengthis 1.7 × 10e62 Planck lengths.

In any calculation of length that you do, once you reach the Planck length level, there are no more decimal points. A Planck length cannot be broken down into smaller units. You'll have to round up to one Planck length, or down to the other. Those are the only two options. Nature has spoken. Any real world measurement that you do in the entire universe will not

require π go beyond 64 places.This is true of all measurements. To measure beyond 64 decimal places is futile.