Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pi in the Sky over Austin

Coming home at 6:30 PM, I looked up and saw a strange cloud formation... it resolved...  3 141592...
Five sky-writing aircraft from AirSign, a Florida aerial advertising company, will write out π, the Greek letter pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The calculation produces an unending series of digits, beginning with 3.141592. In a press release, the company said that its pilots will produce “several hundred characters” of the numerical sequence.  Tomorrow, the company explained, is March 14, or 3.14,  national "Pi Day."  Building on that, the company says the planes will begin their 90-minute writing process at 6:28 p.m. because “6:28 is pi times two, a number some believe is the truer reflection of the power of the circle.  (The Austin-American Statesman here.)
They circled twice continuing the expansion.

If you want a quick approximation, 355\113 = 3.141592... which is better than 22/7 = 3.1428...  and it has an order and symmetry that makes it easy to remember: 3 55 over 11 3: all the numbers are odd, 1-3-5: 355113 starts and ends with 3.  It's a piece of cake, well, okay, a piece of pie...

Happy Pi Day 2013
Patterns in Pi

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