Google Employee Breaks Guinness World Record Calculating 31.4 Trillion Digits of Pi

Google Employee Breaks Guinness World Record Calculating 31.4 Trillion Digits of Pi

Emma Haruka Iwao used Google Compute Engine, running on Google Cloud, to smash the previous record for computing Pi, around 9 trillion digits.

The number, which does not follow a recurring pattern, has previously been calculated to 22 trillion digits, but Emma Haruka Iwao's efforts - released today to coincide with Pi Day - far surpass that. Google announced the news in a blog on Pi Day (14 March - "3.14" in American date notation). What perhaps you didn't know is that pi is an irrational number which means that there's no end to how many of its digits can be calculated.

This is nearly nine trillion digits more than the previous world record that was set by Peter Trueb in November 2016. And for those who want to see all 31,415,926,535,897 digits of the pi calculation, you can download the complete report from Google Cloud.

'I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to myself. With this feat, Emma became the third woman to enter the Guinness World Record for calculating Pi up to large numbers.

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Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This wasn't an easy task though, since it required a lot of memory and storage.

Pi is regularly used by physicists, engineers and space explorers. The semi-official holiday for the unique number is celebrated by eating actual pies. "I started to realise it was an exciting accomplishment for my team", she says. The first digits, 3.14, are well known but the number is infinitely long. The entire time the Google Cloud infrastructure kept all those machines in operation without any failures which is just as well as the calculation would have failed if there were any disruptions. Pi is being used in many NASA pursuits, including landing on Mars, discovering new inhabitable planets and tracking asteroid movements. "Hopefully we can do an even bigger computation in the future".

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