The number pi has fascinated mathematicians for millennia. You know you memorized equations with pi in high school … but what does it all mean? Also, is it just me, or does all this talk kind of make you want to eat some pie?start quiz
Question 1 of 9
OK. You know pi is 3.14. But …what is it?
... Pi is a constant: the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. No matter what circle you choose, its circumference is always a little more than three times as long as its diameter.
Question 2 of 9
Pi (π) is the first letter in the Greek word περιμετρος. What does that word mean?
... Perimeter. Greek vocabulary word of the day!
Question 3 of 9
Pi is an irrational number. What does that mean?
... You can't divide one integer by another and get pi. It's really close to 355/113 … but it's not exactly 355/113. A mathematician proved that pi is irrational in 1768.
Question 4 of 9
Which of the following people is not a mathematician who calculated a new value of pi?
... Judy Garland. A list of people who've come up with a better approximation of pi is like a who's who of mathematicians. Pi is, apparently, totally fascinating.
Question 5 of 9
How many digits of pi have been calculated?
... More than a trillion. The Guinness record for reciting pi from memory is 67,890. Someone else claims to have recited 100,000 digits. Yipe.
Question 6 of 9
Pi is not only irrational, but also transcendental. What the heck does that mean?
... There's no nice clean algebraic equation you can write for pi. Like x²-2=0, for example. It just can't be done. Pi is a wacky number. Transcendental, in fact. By "nice clean" we mean "polynomial with integer coefficients."
Question 7 of 9
According to the American Pie Council, when is National Pie Day?
... Jan. 23. Isn't that weird? Every nerd knows you eat pie on March 14. (3/14 – get it?) But that’s cool. I’d eat pie every day. You hear that, American Pie Council? I LOVE PIE.
Question 8 of 9
What are pie weights for?
... If you’re making a pie crust that is baked before filling, you can keep it from buckling by weighting it with pie weights.
Question 9 of 9
Enough fun. Time for more math. (Kidding! Math is fun!) What’s the formula for the volume of a sphere?
... It’s 4/3 π r³ . Sorry, Mr. Walstein, I know you taught me this in ninth-grade geometry, but I had to look it up to write the quiz.