Physics Concepts and Definitions

What makes pi irrational?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. You learned about pi in math class, and it was kind of cool and simple all at the same time. No matter what size circle you used, if you divided its circumference by its diameter, it would always equal pi (just over 3.14). But when mathematicians use pi in other ways, simplicity goes out the window. Pi can be calculated for reasons that have nothing to do with circles. Under these circumstances, pi extends out into an infinite string of non-repeating numbers. Put another way, pi cannot be represented by a simple fraction of two integers; this characteristic makes pi an irrational number -- but it's still cool.

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