When we hear of the mathematical constant pi, we simply remember it as 3.14 or if you’re a big mathematical nerd, you’ll remember the first ten digits as 3.141592653 (read that in bobblehead Einstein’s voice from Night at the Museum 2). But there is an infinite number of digits that follow the decimal point and for now, about 62.8 trillion figures have been calculated which makes it a new world record for the most digits of pi ever calculated.
The whole calculation was done by a supercomputer at the Center of Data Analytics, Visualization, and Simulation (DAViS) and took 108 days and nine hours to achieve the record (imagine if you were calculating it by hand, it’d easily take you years). The previous world record was held by Emma Haruka Iwao and team from Google in 2019 who computed pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places. This record was broken by Timothy Mullican from the non-profit North Alabama Charitable Computing in 2020 for recording 50 trillion digits which took almost 8 months to compute. But now, seems like DAViS is in the lead with a whopping 62.8 trillion digits in only 108 days (Talk about fast computing power). “We wanted to achieve several goals with the record attempt,” said Prof. Dr Heiko Rölke, head of DAViS, in a statement. “In the course of preparing and performing the calculations, we were able to build up a lot of know-how and optimize our processes. This is now of particular benefit to our research partners, with whom we jointly carry out computationally intensive projects in data analysis and simulation.“
You might be wondering what’s the point of calculating all these decimal places of pi? Well, these high-speed calculations help determine the best algorithms which in turn helps to demonstrate how quick something is to achieve a given task. This helps to optimize different kinds of technologies and their vast applications in different fields. The world record is still yet to be verified by the Guinness Book of Records but the researchers have released the last 10 digits which are 7817924264. Do whatever you want with that information.