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# What is the exact value of pi?

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It is impossible to arrive at an exact value for pi because the digits that make up its decimal neither end nor repeat, according to Scientific American. It is therefore an irrational number, and the closest value that can be asserted is an approximation.

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Shigeru Kondo, a Japanese systems engineer, and Alexander Yee, a U.S. computer scientist, collaborated to build a special computer that took over a year to calculate pi to the 10 trillionth digit. Extensive calculations of this sort are useful for testing the integrity of supercomputers and highly precise multiplication algorithms, but generally speaking, most scientific applications require no more than 40 decimal places.

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## Related Questions

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According to Math Open Reference, pi is a mathematical constant obtained by dividing the circumference of any circle by its diameter. Pi is about 22/7 or 3.142. However, no one knows its exact value.

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Pi is used today in practical applications that include astronomy, physics, engineering and architecture. The task of computing pi to billions or trillions of decimal points is often used as a speed test for supercomputers.

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The identity of the first person to discover that the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a given circle is a constant will probably never be known. The search for that constant, commonly known as pi, goes back nearly 4,000 years, to the Egyptians and Babylonians.