December 19, 2006

[Update] Pi. . . or is it?

I sent a question to the TriMet: MAX place, here's what I said:

I'm from Salem and don't normally ride MAX. That being said, when I went to Zoo Lights on MAX I was very excited to see a certain mathematical number etched into the wall at the underground stop right by the zoo. Forgive me, I don't know the official number/name of this stop except that it's right next to the entrance of the zoo. Here's my concern. A number that appears to be Pi is etched into the wall. It begins: 3.1415926535 -- which is correct, however the next 8 lines aren't contained anywhere within even the first 200 million digits of pi, either as a group of 8 lines or as individual rows. Here's a picture so that you can verify this:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Ji6WxBECHV8/RYV1oojX8yI/AAAAAAAAABg/IuTjUoJcnOI/s400/Pi.jpg


Here's the website I used to check for the wall-number's inclusion in the actual value of pi:

http://www.angio.net/pi/piquery


Why spend so much time etching a number into a wall only to get the first line correct? I really want to know why, please respond!

-Michael Snively

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Lol! Someone I know from Canada/USA Mathcamp '05 (yes, in Oregon) showed me a picture of that exact same engraving. "Forty Mathcampers freaking out about pi being written wrong was a sight to see."

Anyways, I memorize pi by blocks of 5. The second row contains the correct progression of digits; it just starts on the 21st block of 5. I only know around 130 digits, so I didn't look at the rest.

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