Pi

How Pi Saved Your Favorite Scifi Heroes

Pi is an important number that’s been hanging around for about 4,000 years now. It represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Divide the circumference of a circle by the diameter and you’ll get Pi. No matter what size the circle is, the answer will always be the same: 3.14 and some change.

The unique thing about Pi is that it literally goes on forever without repeating. People are still calculating the digits of Pi, and some take great pride in how many numbers they can memorize past the decimal point. 3.14 is an important mathematical constant that has totally changed the way we live. 

That’s why March 14th has been designated National Pi Day. In celebration of the nerdy fun, let’s take a look at where some of our favorite Science Fiction heroes would be without this handy little number.

How Pi Saved Your Favorite Scifi Heroes

Without this magic number, many of our favorite stories wouldn't have been the same. Our heroes certainly wouldn't have made it far without a little Pi in their lives, that's for sure!

Pi on the S.S. Enterprise

Without Pi, the S.S. Enterprise would never have been built. Spock wouldn’t have met Captain Kirk, and their epic space adventures would never have charted a new course for humanity. Pi is essential when it comes to drawing blueprints and building machines. While construction done in the early days of Pi could get away with fudging the numbers, there’s not as much wiggle room when you’re calculating arc lengths for the line-of-sight on your aircraft. The intricate inner working of a spaceship will likely have Pi written all over the schematics!

 

Skywalker Would Have Crashed and Burned without Pi

Do you recall that famous scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker is hurtling across the Death Star, frantically navigating towards its only weak spot? Well, the Death Star is a gigantic sphere. Travelling across it is never a straight line since your vehicle has to move in at least a slight arc. Without Pi, the navigational system wouldn’t give the right readings and Luke wouldn’t have gotten very far. Then again, without Pi there wouldn’t have been a Death Star in the first place! It just goes to show you that it’s not the mathematical constant that’s evil, it’s how you use it!

E.T. Phoned Home with Pi

Remember in the early 80s when E.T. phoned home? Yeah, not without Pi! That’s right, sending transmissions is impossible without Pi. Radio signals, television, radar: the processing necessary to translate these signals into a message couldn’t happen without 3.14. So, without Pi, our favorite Reeses-Pieces-eating alien would still be property of the U.S. government. Oh, and that magical, flying bicycle would have also had a hard time getting its wheels without Pi.

You Know Who Else Loves Pi? Iron Man

Tony Stark would have died from his fatal chest wound without 3.14, and a world without Iron Man is no world at all. The billionaire engineer never could have performed the complex math necessary to create his powerful armor without a little help from our favorite transcendental number! Engineers love Pi, they wouldn’t eat nearly as well without it.

And it Should Be Important to You Too!

There is no area of your life that doesn’t need Pi. Your phone sends and receives calls using signals that couldn’t be transmitted without it. You drive on Pi, enjoy design aesthetics that couldn’t exist without it, and tell time on clocks that couldn’t have been made without it.

That’s why nerds the world over have come together to declare March 14th (3/14) as National Pi Day. Not only is it a lovely excuse to eat as much pie as you want, it’s also a way to pay homage to all the great thinkers who put their minds towards making this little blue rock a much better place to live. These people spent their days nerding out over math. Because of that, we live in a world that is truly connected for the first time in history.

They’re the real heroes. So, go give a mathematician a hug and some pie to show your appreciation for all that they do!

Oh, and happy Pi Day!

 

The truth is, we wouldn’t even have Science Fiction heroes if we didn’t have Pi because there would be no Science Fiction! Mathematics would not have advanced nearly as far without it. Without advanced mathematics, there would be no advanced technologies. It’s pretty safe to say that Science Fiction wouldn’t be the same without technology.

Pi Is Important for a Lot of Reasons

Pi is important to technology, but we have come to rely on it for far more than that. It’s used in studies of how human DNA folds, the discovery of new planets, and even the calculations of proper air pressure in your car tires! Just think about that for a minute. A knowledge of Pi has been around for 4,000 years, with different people weighing in throughout history to add to our understanding of the number and its uses. We’re still calculating Pi today, in fact!

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