Real Life Application of Pi

Real Life Application of Pi

Pi. Represented by the Greek letter of ‘p’, pi is one of the most recognized numbers in maths, being used to find the area and circumference of a circle. With pi day on March 14, it is important to celebrate this amazing discovery, but what importance does this value hold outside of our maths lessons?

Firstly, pi allows us to communicate to satellites. For example, to get Wi-Fi to work on planes, the antenna of a plane has to be pointed towards the satellite its accessing the Wi-Fi from. To do this, engineers use trigonometry, which uses pi, to calculate the direction that the antenna has to be facing. So, without pi, we wouldn’t be able to predict the weather, track cargo ships, or even just open google maps on your phone!

Furthermore, pi is used widely in the field of architecture. Bridges, mosques, and many buildings all share the characteristic of using arches. This could be to support the structure or even for aesthetic purposes. However, since arches are semicircles, pi helps in determining the perimeter which in turn helps in calculating the amount of material required for construction. This is significant because if architects had to estimate the cost of construction, they could be wildly inaccurate which would affect the construction and most definitely get them fired.

Finally, while pi is used for crucial calculations that affect our daily lives, it can also be used for smaller scale needs, like barcode printers. These printers, which are employed in hospitals, warehouses, power plants, and other locations, print on a wide range of materials, including paper and polyester, each of which requires a distinct roll length. If the rolls are built too large, they won’t fit in the printer and so a formula is made that finds the maximum roll length of a material using pi.

In conclusion, pi is a significant number that allows scientists, engineers, architects and more to form calculations that help them in their field of work. While we usually don’t give the value a second thought, without pi, we wouldn’t be able to put on our favourite tv show, we wouldn’t be able to escape on plane to a tropical island, and we wouldn’t even be able to message our family on our phone.

    Fortes Education
    Office 365
    National Curriculum
    Thinking Matters
    Duke of Edinburgh