pi symbol

pi symbol (π)

The symbol of pi represents an irrational number, that is, with infinite decimal numbers and without a repeated pattern.

The number pi is known in its two-decimal version 3,14 and is present in many of the physical, chemical and biological constants, which is why it is called the fundamental mathematical constant.

The symbol for pi (π) is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet and is used as a symbol of Pedagogy. In mathematics, the symbol pi represents the number 3.1415926535897932, with 16 first decimal places.

The symbol of pi is also known in geometry as the result of the division between the length and the diameter of a circle. The pi number is naturally present in fractals such as plant growth, and artificially, in the formulas necessary for satellite location (GPS) and voice assistants that recognize voices as commands.

Since 1999, the House of Representatives of the United States of America has decreed March 14 as National Pi Day for all the contributions it has made in science and technology.

The symbol Pi (π) is represented by the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet. This is the lowercase letter pi, which is used in mathematics.

It represents everything that cannot be achieved . This is because, although its value is often studied as being 3.14, in fact, it is not accurate, as it is infinite.

The number Pi is the most studied (and most acclaimed) number in mathematics, since it is a number that has infinite decimal places. Its origin is believed to date back to 2000 BC and represents one of the most important mathematical constants commonly used in mathematics, physics and engineering. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most common mathematical constants in the equations of physics, along with the number e (also known as Euler’s number or Napier’s constant).

This is such an acclaimed number that it even has its own celebration. On March 14 (3/14) at 01:59 PM is the highlight of the celebration, the six – digit approximation: 3.14159.

March 14 also coincides with the curious International Day of the Blowjob and the Sirloin (in return for Valentine’s Day and which honors two of the most desired pleasures); the day of release of the 1.0.0 version of the Linux kernel in 1994; the day of birth of the German physicist Albert Einstein in 1879; the day of birth of the Spanish naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente in 1928; or the day of the death of the philosopher and economist Karl Marx in 1883.

Copy Paste pi symbol sign

If your keyboard does not have a pi symbol and the previous combination does not work, you can rely on the foolproof copy and paste

Pi symbol on the keyboard

Due to the difference in keyboard types, the fastest way to enter the symbol is to highlight the pi π symbol, cut (CTRL + C), and then paste (CTRL + P) where you want to put it. The cut and paste menu can be found by left-clicking with the selected word or by holding your finger on the touch screens.

Another way is to go to the main menu of the operating system and use the following command to open the character map:% SystemRoot% system32charmap.exe. Then find or draw the symbol, in this case, the pi symbol, and drag it onto the document.

pi symbol sign

What is the number pi?

The number pi  is the constant that relates the perimeter of a circle with the width of its diameter: Π = L / D. We can find an approximation with any round object. It is framed within the so-called irrational numbers, so it is not an exact number but an infinite number, with infinite decimal places.

Why is that particular symbol used to designate the number pi symbol ?

The symbol for the number pi is the Greek letter pi (the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet). It was initially used by William Jones in 1706 and later popularized by the great mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler, around 1734, who was the first to know its value. (Euler is considered one of the greatest and most prolific mathematicians  of all time.)

The numerical value of π truncated to its first ten decimal places is as follows:

The origin of the number pi

pi symbol origin

Round objects (such as the wheel ) have been used by man since ancient times and, at some point in history, men realized that this figure of “three and little” was key to calculating lengths, areas and volumes of round bodies. So, as we see, it was already hinted in antiquity that all circles kept a close dependence between the contour and its radius. Archimedes was one of the first to approach the value of the number pi.

The official use of the pi number and pi symbol

We would have to wait until the 17th century to see that correlation turn into a digit and that it would finally be baptized with the name of “Pi” (from the Greek peripheries, a term to designate the perimeter of a circle). The notation was first used in 1706 by the Welsh mathematician William Jones and popularized by Euler in the 1748 “Introduction to Infinitesimal Calculus”.

Historical anecdotes

The  English mathematician William Shanks managed to obtain 707 decimal places of the number pi after a research work of almost 20 years. The year was 1853. The caveat of this mathematical milestone is that it made an error in the 528th decimal, so the rest from that decimal were all wrong.

In 1957 the Pegasus computer was used to calculate decimals of pi: 7,840 decimals were finally achieved.

In 1961, using an IBM 7090 computer, 100,000 decimals of pi were achieved.

Calculating pi with computers

pi symbol calculation

On September 20, 1999, Yasumasa Kanada and Daisuke Takahashi achieve 206,158,430,000 decimals  of the number pi using two independent calculations. Using the Gauss-Legendre (Brent-Salamin) algorithm, the program took a total of 37 hours and 21 minutes to calculate. Then, the verification program using Borwein’s fourth-order convergence algorithm took a total of 46 hours and 7 minutes . This Hitachi SR8000 from the University of Tokyo, had a whopping 128 microprocessors and a memory of more than 800 GB (remember that it was the 90s).

The day of the pi number

On March 14 of each year, World Pi Number Day is celebrated. This holiday was born in the United States in 1988 and has been gaining in popularity since then. In the USA They even went so far as to pass a favorable House of Representatives resolution in 2009 declaring March 14 as National Pi Day.

It is thus a day in which passionate about mathematics, physics and geometry come together to celebrate this Piday in style as a tribute.

The origin of the Pi Day celebration

The American physicist Larry Shawn decided in 1988 to commemorate this day for the value of Pi, coinciding with the same date in American format 3/14. Due, in addition, to the similarity of the pronunciation of Pi with Pie (cake), it is most common that fans of mathematics celebrate this day eating cakes and sweets.

Amazing comparisons

If we were to write the first 200 billion decimal places of Pi in a straight line, averaging five digits per linear centimeter of paper, the strip of paper would be so long that it could go around the circumference of the Earth.

Uses of the pi number and pi symbol

Because this number is used to calculate the area of ​​a circle, its perimeter, or the volume of a cylinder, it is applied to the manufacture of tires, bottles, glasses, or watches. In astronomy, it is also used (by NASA) to calculate the amount of hydrogen required in space missions or to calculate the extensions of the territory of the different planets. It is also very useful in statistics, trigonometry or topography.

Record reciting the pi number

Japan’s Akira Haraguchi broke his own record in 2006  by reciting 100,000 digits of the pi number. For such a great event, it took 16 ½ hours, stopping every couple of hours to drink water and get some rest. Her previous brand had her in 13 hours and 83,431 digits of the non-stop pi number from 2002.

Pi even in the grave

The German mathematician Ludolph van Ceulen (1540-1610) asked that they put on his tombstone (as an epitaph) a very mathematical message: the 35 digits of the number pi that he himself had calculated. The remains of van Ceulen remain in the Church of Saint Peter in Leiden (Netherlands). Because the headstone  disappeared, in 2000 a replica of the headstone with the unique numerical epitaph was placed.

Pi in music

British singer-songwriter Kate Bush made a musical version of the Pi number, singing her digits ‘under an infinite circle’. Another artist, in this case Michael Blake, made us see how pi sounds could be converted into a song, as he assigned a musical note  to each number and later played a melody with great success on social networks.

Pi in the cinema

In 1998, Darren Aronofsky’s movie “Pi, Faith in Chaos” shows us a mathematician who believes that the world is represented by numbers.

A less explicit but equally valid reference is in the film “Torn Curtain” by suspense master Alfred Hitchcock. In it, a spy organization uses the number pi as a symbol.

How many decimal places have been calculated?

Up to 10 trillion decimal places of this irrational number have been discovered so far thanks to computer engineers Shigeru Kondo and Alexander J. Yee .


The number Pi (π) is obtained by dividing the length of a circle by its diameter. Also, it is an irrational number. This means that it has an infinite number of digits that extend after the comma. Therefore, the same pattern is never repeated.

These are 5 curious facts about the Pi number:

1. For the symbol of the number Pi the Greek letter π is used. This is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet and has symbols for both upper and lower case, these are Π and π .

This Greek letter was first used by the Welsh mathematician William Jones in 1706. Later, it became popular with the Swiss mathematician and physicist Leonhard Paul Euler in the book “Introduction to infinitesimal calculus” from the year 1748.

2. Scientists have not been content to figure out the 39 decimal places of this enigmatic number. Since, the last record was broken in 2014, with 12.1 trillion digits. This calculation was made with a supercomputer after 94 days of work.

Here we present the first 1,500 decimals of the number Pi:

3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 29780499510597317328 1609631859 ​​5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989 3809525720 1065485863 2788659361 5338182796 8230301952 0353018529 6899577362 2599413891 2497217752 8347913151 5574857242 4541506959 5082953311 6861727855 8890750983 8175463746 4939319255 0604009277 0167113900 9848824012 8583616035 6370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 286182974595552619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989 3809525720 1065485863 2788659361 5338182796 8230301952 0353018529 6899577362 2599413891 2497217752 8347913151 5574857242 4541506959 5082953311 6861727855 8890750983 8175463746 4939319255 0604009277 0167113900 9848824012 8583616035 6370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 75093029552619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989 3809525720 1065485863 2788659361 5338182796 8230301952 0353018529 6899577362 2599413891 2497217752 8347913151 5574857242 4541506959 5082953311 6861727855 8890750983 8175463746 4939319255 0604009277 0167113900 9848824012 8583616035 6370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 75093029551712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989 3809525720 1065485863 2788659361 5338182796 8230301952 0353018529 6899577362 2599413891 2497217752 8347913151 5574857242 4541506959 5082953311 6861727855 8890750983 8175463746 4939319255 0604009277 0167113900 9848824012 8583616035 6370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 75093029551712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989 3809525720 1065485863 2788659361 5338182796 8230301952 0353018529 6899577362 2599413891 2497217752 8347913151 5574857242 4541506959 5082953311 6861727855 8890750983 8175463746 4939319255 0604009277 0167113900 9848824012 8583616035 6370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 75093029556370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 75093029556370766010 4710181942 9555961989 4676783744 9448255379 7747268471 0404753464 6208046684 2590694912 9331367702 8989152104 7521620569 6602405803 8150193511 2533824300 3558764024 7496473263 9141992726 0426992279 6782354781 6360093417 2164121992 4586315030 2861829745 5570674983 8505494588 5869269956 9092721079 7509302955

3. In the city of Seattle, located in the northwestern United States, it houses, since 2009, a monument honoring one of the most famous number of all time, Pi. This is a work of the artist Dan Johnson and it is located in a park very close to the Art Museum.

4. A boy named Lucas Fos showed in a video how to calculate the number Pi with his feet.

Since, his method is to measure the circumference of the center of a soccer field with only his feet, to later estimate the diameter of the circle using his steps. In the end, Lucas compares the relationship between both measurements and obtains a value that resembles Pi. (If you want more information about this case you can find it in Hypertextual ).

5. The PI number is used for the manufacture of tires, watches and is also widely used in Astronomy. Also, here is a great example that many people use every day:

“It is possible to use Pi to describe the geometry of the world,” Chris Budd told the BBC. Since, in the words of the mathematician, it is important to “calculate Pi with very high precision so that modern technology like GPS works”.

see also delta symbol