pensiero scientifico

"Quasi sempre la Scienza víola il senso comune"

Marcus e π

Of course, for any practical application of these numbers, I could probably get away with an approximation which is a fraction. Most engineers are happy to use the estimate 22/7 for π that Archimedes got by approximating a circle with a 96-sided figure. In fact, I need only know 39 digits of π to be able to calculate the circumference ofa circle the size of the observable universe to a precision comparable to the size of a hydrogen atom. There even exists a formula that can tell me what the millionth digit of π is without calculating all the intervening digits.

Not something that I’m desperate to know. But this formula will only ever give me finite knowledge of a number that necessitates the infinite to fully embrace it.

“What we cannot know” Marcus du Sautoy