by Julian M Bucknall

I came across this remarkable image a couple of days ago. It shows four million digits of π encoded as colored pixels, with one pixel per digit. Each digit has a slightly different color. The page also allows you to search for digit strings up to six characters long and the page will find them in the image, if, of course, the string is there. This raises a couple of questions. The first one is this: given that π expressed as a decimal is infinitely long, can you find any digit string in it...

READ MOREWith the September 2009 article, I decided to present a discussion of how the constant π (pi) was calculated in antiquity and over the ages, together with a layman’s rehash of an article I’d written a while ago on how to write a program to calculate it. The nice thing about writing code to calculate π is that it shows off Machin’s formula and writing a minimal “big number” library to perform the calculation. I did come up with a fascinating fact to round off the article: it took 33 hours for a Ferranti...

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