Happy Pi Day 2013!

In honor of Pi Day, March 14, here are Math Dude's two fun facts about pi!

Jason Marshall, PhD
2-minute read

Pi Fun Fact #2

The second fun fact is that pi seconds is about 1 nanocentury. In other words, 3.14 seconds is about 1-billionth of a century. If you want to get all particular, the actual number of seconds in a nanocentury is 3.154; but that's pretty close to pi. Of course, this is a rather ridiculous number. After all, it's crazy to measure relatively tiny things in terms of comparatively great big things. It's like saying that 1 kilometer is approximately the same length as 1/5-the-nano-distance-between-the-Sun-and-Pluto. That’s just nuts, right?

But if we turn this relationship upside down, we come up with a number that's most certainly not crazy. In particular, by inverting this relationship we find that if you're lucky enough to live for a century, your lifetime will have spanned about pi-billion seconds. That's a lot of seconds…sort of. I mean, it's comforting to know that human lifetimes are measured in billions (and not millions) of seconds, but trillions (or quadrillions) would be nice. Which is a good reminder to make as many of those however many billions of seconds count.

Happy pi day, 2013!


About the Author

Jason Marshall, PhD

Jason Marshall is the author of The Math Dude's Quick and Dirty Guide to Algebra. He provides clear explanations of math terms and principles, and his simple tricks for solving basic algebra problems will have even the most math-phobic person looking forward to working out whatever math problem comes their way.

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