Life of 3.14159… › Bernie’s Basics (ABC Science)

Most of us know that Pi (or π) has something to do with circles — or a guy in a boat with a tiger. But what’s grade 4 maths got to do with high-end physics?

Pretty-much everything. Pi is in the circumference and area of every circle, and in the volume of every sphere too. And from planets to force fields there’s no shortage of those shapes in nature — so it’s not surprising that Pi turns up in equations describing orbits, rotation and the strength of fields that spread out in all directions.

But the real kicker — the reason Pi goes viral in physics — is because it’s in every circular movement too. And in every movement that could pass for circular in the right light — like waves. From subatomic particles to cosmic background radiation there’s not a lot that doesn’t move in waves, so Pi’s there from one scale of the universe to the other.

via Life of 3.14159… › Bernie’s Basics (ABC Science).

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