# π Day (3/14) visualizations

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Mar 14, 2014.

1. ### JDMvW

Today is PI day (3/14=π) and although this would formerly have gone in "off topic" I think the wonderful visualizations of the number at
justify drawing your attention to that Guardian post
The number 3.14159 … as you have never seen it before. Striking computer-generated images of the most famous number in maths​

2. ### sarah_fox

We could not call ourselves well rounded photographers if we didn't occasionally entertain these topics!
Happy pi day, JDM!

3. ### CharlesBecker-Toronto

aha-now I understand the B&H logo on Google+ (the 'H' has been replaced by the Pi sign. cb

4. ### aplumpton

A universel cuisine constant, or 1/ square root of II, or (approx,) 0.56 of a pie

5. ### Damon D'Amato

Next year, it will be 3-14-15, as in 3.1415.

Then, on 3-14-16, I guess you can round from up 3.14159...

6. ### James G. DainisModerator

3.1415926... blah, blah, blah. I say it is about time we change the value of pi to a nice even 3.0. School children everywhere would be eternally grateful.

Yeah, I realize that means we would be bumping along on hexagonal tires but that would be a small price to pay to make math easier for everyone.

7. ### bobatkins

"I say it is about time we change the value of pi to a nice even 3.0"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill

8. ### Andy Murphy

Today is also Einstein's birthday.

9. ### sarah_fox

Today is also Einstein's birthday.​
That's about the best piece of trivia I've heard in a good while.

Cute...

12. ### randrew1

Any image of a circle is a visualization of pi.

13. ### michaellinder

Ah, James . . . If we took your suggestion, our universe would be diminished by the value of 3.14159............

14. ### mendel_leisk

James Dainis , Mar 14, 2014; 07:59 p.m.
3.1415926... blah, blah, blah. I say it is about time we change the value of pi to a nice even 3.0. School children everywhere would be eternally grateful.
Yeah, I realize that means we would be bumping along on hexagonal tires but that would be a small price to pay to make math easier for everyone.​
I sincerely wish you'd been in the room when they were determining the size of a mm, ie: how many of them make an inch. At the outset, even 25.4 was not the precise value, and the difference would manifest in longer distances, say a few miles.
Over the years countless engineers and manufacturers have frittered away insane hours dealing with the disjointed conversion.

15. ### aplumpton

Ah, Mendel,
Pi is a fantastic and immeasurable constant, not conforming to the neat homo sapiens ideas of correctness, containing something very simple that perhaps we cannot yet imagine.
As for the colonial British standard of measurement (feet, pounds, gallons, etc.) still prevalent in some parts parts of the world, that is certainly changeable with will, and hopefully the liberating light of the decimal system will eventually be adopted there. Somehow, that possibility, bizarre as it may be, is inversely proportional to the progression of English as one of the three or four common languages of the world.

16. ### JDMvW

I will add that there is an argument for PI=3.0 in I Kings 7:23 -
Strenuous efforts to explain this apparent error are made by people who subscribe to "inerrancy"
This, of course, is the real reason behind legislative attempts in various states to define π as 3.0, not making it easier for students.

17. ### michaellinder

JDM, I'll bite. Can you please convert the value of pi to cubits?

18. ### JDMvW

circumference (perimeter) = PI times diameter
so circumference divided by diameter equals PI
so PI is a ratio, so according to I Kings, the ratio is 30 cubits divided by 10 cubits so the cubits 'cancel out' and the answer is 3.0, not in cubits at all.
Not that you didn't know that already. But I am a retired professor, and we are trained not to dismiss any question as stupid.
In ancient Babylon at 1900 BCE, give or take a century or three, π was treated as 25/8 = 3.1250. Similar ratios were used in various other ancient societies.

19. ### jim_service

Bob, your post reminded me of an old, I think, Martin Gardner column that read in part, "If pi equalled three, this sentence would look like this.", where all the o's were replaced with little hexagons.

20. ### colin carron

I have always enjoyed Monte Carlo methods of arriving at solutions. Here is a nice Monte Carlo method for estimating Pi though you need to be a poor darts player to achioeve a random spread and so get the best results
http://polymer.bu.edu/java/java/montepi/MontePi.html
Don't you just love those transcendental numbers?

21. ### sarah_fox

Leo, "Tau" was really cool! Thanks for the link!

22. ### michaellinder

JDM - One of my favorite quips from a professor in graduate school was, "That's either trivially true or interestingly false." Being the insecure type, I opted for the former. Now that I've reached advance age, I opt for the latter.

23. ### michaellinder

JDM: I'm not sure whether your calculation comes under Disraeli's famed pronouncement about statistics. If not, I'm sure it's covered by the principle of minimum mutilation.