Google’s Emma Haruka Iwao and team has broken a Guinness World Record by successfully calculating the most accurate value of pi ever. Emma, who is a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google also put out a blog post on March 14, which is celebrated as Pi Day.
Pi, which is an irrational number with infinite decimals and is often rounded to 3.14, represents the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diametre. It is significantly used in geometrical calculations.
Emma said in the post that pi has been computed to 31.4 trillion decimal places or 31,415,926,535,897 digits to be exact, using Google Compute Engine, powered by Google Cloud. This is almost 9 trillion digits more than the previous world record, which was set in November 2016 by Peter Trueb.
The value of pi was calculated using the y-cruncher application on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines and required a whopping 170 terabytes of data to complete.
“We achieved this feat using y-cruncher, a Pi-benchmark program developed by Alexander J. Yee, using a Google Compute Engine virtual machine cluster,” the post reads.
The calculations took around four months (121 days) to complete and computed digits are now the published by Google Cloud as disk snapshots, which are available to anyone. During the entire time it took for calculations, the Google Cloud server were kept switched on to avoid any interruptions.
This year marks the 31st anniversary of Pi Day, which is believed to be celebrated first by physicist Larry Shawand and his peers at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in 1988. For the sixth consecutive year, NASA has announced its Pi Day Challenge 2019 that invites its scientists and engineers to solve four problems by using pi.