Pi Calculated to a Record Number of 2.7 Trillion Digits

That's 123 billion digits more than the previous number. Computer scientist Fabrice Bellard ran his calculations on a desktop computer, taking 131 days to run the program and then check the results:

Previous records were established using supercomputers, but Mr Bellard claims his method is 20 times more efficient.

The prior record of about 2.6 trillion digits, set in August 2009 by Daisuke Takahashi at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, took just 29 hours.

However, that work employed a supercomputer 2,000 times faster and thousands of times more expensive than the desktop Mr Bellard employed.

I blogged about that record at the time.

Link via Geekologie | Image: flickr user Paul Adam Smith, used under Creative Commons license

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In normal times, this would be Amazing. Notice how it took 'supercomputers' to compute pi to the previous record.

In insane times, this doesn't hold a candle to the TARP bailout amongst others. Ironically, the American deficit is far more amazing in dollars as pi is in computations. Were the ones that get to pay for it.
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I think I learned more about pi from Darren Aronofsky's titular film than from any math class I took. Highly recommended for those that think this is a waste of time.
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Ummm. . . is there an actual REASON for calculating Pi to 2.7 trillion digits? Or are we just looking for something to do with our shiny new supercomputers?
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