troubleshooting Question

900,000th digit of pi

Avatar of DanRollins
DanRollinsFlag for United States of America asked on
Math / Science
18 Comments8 Solutions916 ViewsLast Modified:
I'm not innumerate, but when the numbers get really large, my eyes glaze over.

Can someone use their common sense and a good calulator's scientifc notation ability to calculate this for me?

     If you had a circle the size of the Known Universe -- say 15,000,000 Light Years
     in diameter -- you could calculate its circumference by using pi.   How accurate
     would you need the value of pi to be to get a correct circumference, within say
     an inch or two?  How about to within a nanometer?  How about to within a
     Compton radius (a distance comparable to the size of an electron).

Coming at it another way:
   If you have a value of pi calculated to 1 million digits, and there was a typo at
   digit number 900,000 so that it was off by 1 in that position, how much
   would that affect your calculation of the circumferance of astronomical-scale
   objects, such as the Visible Universe?

This is just to satisfy my curiousity.  I've stated a sort of interesting proposition here:

And I'm basing my supposition only on gut instinct and a vague memory of something I read *long ago* -- that you need surprizingly few digits of pi to get an accurate measure of circles the size of, say the orbit of Neptune (bonus if you can verify that with some data :-)

-- Dan
Log in to continue reading
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform for $9.99/mo
View membership options
Unlock 8 Answers and 18 Comments.
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
See how we're fighting big data
The Value of Experts Exchange in My Daily IT Life

Experts Exchange (EE) has become my company's go-to resource to get answers. I've used EE to make decisions, solve problems and even save customers. OutagesIO has been a challenging project and... Keep reading >>


Owner of Outages.IO
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Member Since 2016
Join a full scale community that combines the best parts of other tools into one platform.
Unlock 8 Answers and 18 Comments.
View membership options
“All of life is about relationships, and EE has made a virtual community a real community. It lifts everyone's boat.”
William Peck

Member since 2004