How Many Digits of Pi Do We Really Need?

The number is infinite but how many digits after the decimal point are actually useful? Real Engineering explores this question.

We love pi! The mathematical constant appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics and is ever so useful.

But it goes without saying that no one can ever remember all its digits. The constant is endless and never repeats itself.

But how many of its digit do we truly need? Real Engineering asked that question and came up with an answer for engineers. 

We won't tell you what it is. You have to watch the video for that. We will tell you more about pi.

The number is often referred to by the Greek symbol π. Originally it was defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

It is also called Archimedes' constant because around 250 BC the Greek mathematician Archimedes developed an algorithm for calculating it. 

In the past, both Chinese and Indian mathematics have approximated pi to seven digits and five digits respectively.

Today, mathematicians and computer scientists have new computational approaches that extend the representation of pi to many trillions of digits after the decimal point. But how many do we truly need?