For thousands of years, mathematicians and scientists have worked on calculating the digits of pi -- a project that could literally go on forever. For now, we at least know the first 100 trillion digits of pi, thanks to a project at Google.
You can view the entire sequence of numbers on this demo site.
Google Cloud's Developer Advocate Emma Haruka Iwao has set a new world record for calculating the most digits of pi, using Google Cloud infrastructure to determine that the 100-trillionth decimal place of pi is 0. The project took her just under 158 days and some serious computing power.
Iwao's record beat the 2021 record set by scientists at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, who calculated the mathematical constant to 62.8 trillion decimal places. Iwao previously set a world record in 2019, with a pi calculation of 31.4 trillion digits.
In 2019, calculating 31.4 trillion digits took 121 days, making this year's calculation of 100 trillion digits more than 2x faster.
"This massive calculation demonstrates how Google Cloud's flexible infrastructure lets teams around the world push the boundaries of scientific experimentation," Iwao wrote in a blog post. "It's also an example of the reliability of our products -- the program ran for more than five months without node failures and handled every bit in the 82 PB of disk I/O correctly. Over the last three years, the improvements to our infrastructure and products made this calculation possible."
Her blog post lays out the project's technical details, which required high-performance compute, storage and networking capabilities. Google used the open-source tool Terraform to test different infrastructure options and choose the most optimal parameters. Meanwhile, the actual code used to calculate the 100 trillion digits is available on GitHub. Google verified the final numbers with another algorithm (Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula) when the calculation was completed.