Scientists just broke the record for calculating pi, and infinity never felt so close

Swiss researchers said Monday they had calculated the mathematical constant pi to a new world-record level of exactitude, hitting 62.8 trillion figures using a supercomputer.

“The calculation took 108 days and nine hours” using a supercomputer, the Graubuenden University of Applied Sciences said in a statement.

Its efforts were “almost twice as fast as the record Google set using its cloud in 2019, and 3.5 times as fast as the previous world record in 2020”, according to the university’s Center for Data Analytics, Visualization and Simulation.

Researchers are waiting for the Guinness Book of Records to certify their feat, until then revealing only the final ten digits they calculated for pi: 7817924264.

The previous world-record pi calculation had achieved 50 trillion figures.

Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, with an infinite number of digits following the decimal point.

Researchers nevertheless continue to push calculations for the constant – whose first 10 figures are 3.141592653 – ever further using powerful computers.

The Swiss team said that the experience they built up calculating pi could be applied in other areas like “RNA analysis, simulations of fluid dynamics and textual analysis”.

© Agence France-Presse

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