The Pi Trivia Game

by Eve Andersson


Home : Pi : The Pi Trivia Game

Finally this is your chance to pay tribute to the magnificent transcendental number that we have all grown to love! Here are 25 questions (given to you 5 at a time), picked randomly from my pi question database. Get ready for the thrill of your lifetime, the ultimate challenge, The Pi Trivia Game!

1. In 1949, a digital computer was first used to calculate pi. To how many decimal places was this computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Intergrator and Computer), able to find pi (it took 70 hours)?

2. One way to approximate the value of pi is to have a computer pick two random numbers, x and y, each between -1 and 1. If it does so N times, and if, for M of those times x^2 + y^2 < 1, then pi is approximately equal to 4*M/N (presumably becoming more accurate as N increases). This method of approximation is an example of:

3. Answer the following question (an example of pi's importance in probability), posed and solved by George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (solved also nowdays by many students in introductory statistics classes): Let a needle of length L be thrown at random onto a horizontal plane ruled with parallel lines spaced by a distance d (greater than L) from each other. What is the probability that the needle will intersect one of these lines?

4. Which of the following is an arctangent formula for pi?

5. Say you have a rope wrapped tightly around the earth at the equator. How much longer would you have to make the rope if you wanted the rope to be exactly 1 foot above the surface the whole way around? (assume that the earth has a constant radius at the equator)