Pi Day: A number of things to know

By CNN Staff

(CNN) -- Math enthusiasts know all about it, and the rest of the population is probably hoping for cherry pie.

But March 14 is Pi Day. And each year presents ample opportunity for learning.

To 31 decimal places, the celebrated irrational number that never ends is 3.1415926535897932384626433832795. If you want to appreciate what it looks like to 10 THOUSAND digits, click here.

A few more tidbits about pi and Pi Day:

-- Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It's not equal to the ratio of any two whole numbers, so an approximation -- 22/7 -- is used in many calculations.

-- Pi is essential in architecture and construction and was used frequently by early astronomers.

-- Pi has been known for about 4,000 years, but it started to be called by the Greek letter only in the 1700s.

-- There are no occurrences of the sequence 123456 in the first million digits of pi .

-- The true "randomness" of pi's digits -- 3.14 and so on -- has never been proven.

-- Pi Day started 28 years ago at San Francisco's Exploratorium. Physicist Larry Shaw, who worked in the electronics group at the museum, started celebrating pi on March 14, 1988, primarily with museum staffers. The tradition has grown to embrace math enthusiasts from all walks of life.

-- March 14 also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday.

For more about pi, visit www.piday.org.

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