Google employee calculates pi to record 31 trillion digits

A Google employee from Japan has set a new world record for the number of pi digits calculated. Emma Haruka Iwao, who works as a developer advocate in the cloud at Google, calculated pi to 31,415,926,535,897 digits, breaking the previous record of 22,459,157,718,361 digits set in 2016.

Although Iwao was using the same Y-Cruncher program to calculate pi as the holder of the previous record, his advantage lies in the use of the computer engine based on Google's cloud. The 31 trillion digits of pi took 25 virtual machines 121 days to calculate. In contrast, the previous owner of the registry, Peter Trueb, used a single fast computer, though one equipped with two dozen 6TB hard drives to handle the huge data set that occurred. Its calculation only took 105 days to complete.

Outside of bragging rights, it is unlikely that the additional 9 trillion digits have too many uses in the real world. NASA only uses around 15 digits of pi to send rockets into space, and measuring the circumference of the visible Universe with the precision of a single atom would only take 40 digits.

In any case, if you have to believe my colleague Chaim, then pi sucks anyway, and we should all be using tau. Fortunately, tau is just the double pi, so it should be simple enough for Google to activate its servers in the cloud once again and start working doubling its new number of 31 trillion digits.

Google has produced a more detailed blog post that explains how calculation mathematics worked. Meanwhile, if you want to use the full length of pi for you, Google has published the digits as disk snapshots to allow anyone to access them. (The details of how to do it are contained in the same post.)

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