Hungry for pi? Chow down on this!
You may listen to this programme NOW on Demand on the BBC Discovery Page which is available until Tuesday the 6th of November. It will also be broadcast on Sunday the 4th of November in Phuket at 8:30 AM on 91.5 FM and 102.5 FM and Online via the Internet radio portals.
Pi is the ratio between a circle’s diameter and its circumference.
Sounds dull – but pi turns out to have astonishing properties and crops up in places you would never expect.
Pi goes on and on and on
For a start, it goes on forever and never repeats, meaning it probably contains your name, date of birth, and the complete works of Shakespeare written in its digits.
Maths comedian Matt Parker stuns Adam with his ‘pie-endulum’ experiment, in which a chicken and mushroom pie is dangled 2.45m to form a pendulum which takes *exactly* 3.14 seconds per swing.
Mathematician Dr Vicky Neale explains how we can be sure that the number pi continues forever and never repeats – despite the fact we can never write down all its digits to check!
She also makes the case that aliens would probably measure angles using pi because it’s a fundamental constant of the universe.
Nasa uses Pi
NASA mission director Dr Marc Rayman drops in to explain how pi is used to navigate spacecraft around the solar system. And philosopher of physics Dr Eleanor Knox serves up some philoso-pi, revealing why some thinkers have found pi’s ubiquity so deeply mysterious.
Hannah grins with delight for most of the show. It’s all maths!
Contributors: Matt Parker, Dr Vicky Neale, Dr Marc Rayman, Dr Eleanor Knox
The definition of pi is simple: It’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference divided by its diameter. But what’s remarkable is that no matter the size of the circle you are measuring, that ratio of circumference to diameter will always equal 3.1415926535897, usually shortened to 3.14.