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How Much Pi Do You Want?: history of pi, calculate it yourself, or start with 500,000 decimal places (Paperback)
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...We are fascinated by the fact that we can actually know what those digits (of pi) are. Computer designers and operators have used this calculation to demonstrate the speed and capability of their machines. Newton once entertained himself during a solitary episode by calculating pi to a number of decimal places that he was too embarrassed to admit. A brief history: Pi is a very old number. We know that the Egyptians and the Babylonians knew about the existence of the constant ratio pi, although they didn't know its value nearly as well as we do today. Both had figured out that pi was a little bigger than 3; the Babylonians had an approximation of 3 1/8 (3.125)... Three sections to How Much Pi Do You Want?: 1. history of the search for pi 2. computer program to generate the non-recurring decimal places of pi to however many digits you may desire. 3. Actual table of the first 500,000 digits of pi (it has been "proved" that pi is an irrational number, so there may be no theoretical limit to the calculation). In other words, "how much pi do you want?
About the Author
Jerry Miller served as rocket scientist on the Titan Missile project, among other space projects. His intense curiosity has led him into astronomy, aeronautic modeling, the workings of the Enigma Machine, cosmology, and, in this case, how to generate the value of pi to the nth degree.