Happy Pi Day 2013!

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

Jason Marshall, PhD

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
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