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Pi Calculated to 2.7 Trillion Digits

January 19, 2010

Computer scientist Fabrice Bellard has computed Pi to nearly 2.7 trillion digits, breaking the record by 123 billion places. It took him 131 days to do it.

The old record had been set in August, 2009, by Daisuke Takahashi(University of Tsukuba, in Japan), who needed just 29 hours on a supercomputer 2,000 times faster than Bellard's desktop.

"I got my first book about Pi when I was 14 and since then, I have followed the progress of the various computation records," Bellard told BBC News.

However, "I am not especially interested in the digits of pi," he said. "Arbitrary-precision arithmetic with huge numbers has little practical use, but some of the involved algorithms are interesting to do other things," said Bellard, who plans to release a version of his computational program. 

In the article,Ivars Peterson, MAA's director of publications, said that "Newton himself worked on the digits of pi and spent a lot of time using one of the formulas he developed to get a few extra digits."

"Pi has a precise sequence of digits, it's exactly that, and if your computer isn't operating flawlessly some of those digits will be wrong," Peterson explained. 

Source: BBC News

Start Date: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2010