The Feynman Point!

Have you ever seen or heard of someone who has memorized a lot of digits of π\pi? Have you ever tried doing that in your life?

Whatever your answers are, there is another question that is related to all of this: why on earth would anyone want to do that? What is the motivation behind it?

I have a good answer for that.

The Feynman Point.

What? I know most of you are now scratching your head. Well, stop scratching and take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about this:

The Feynman point is a sequence of six 99's that begins at the 762762nd decimal place of the decimal representation of π\pi. It is named after physicist Richard Feynman, who once stated during a lecture he would like to memorize the digits of π\pi until that point, so he could recite them and quip "nine nine nine nine nine nine and so on", suggesting, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, that π\pi is rational.

I can't speak for anyone else, but to me, that is one of the coolest [if not the coolest] motivations behind memorizing the digits of π\pi.

So, if you're interested, take out a list containing the first thousand digts of π\pi and start memorizing!

Last but not the least, whenever I write something about the digits of π\pi, I can never resist putting this comic in it. It's funny because it's true!

Alt text Alt text

The comic was taken from here.

Note by Mursalin Habib
7 years, 3 months ago

No vote yet
1 vote

  Easy Math Editor

This discussion board is a place to discuss our Daily Challenges and the math and science related to those challenges. Explanations are more than just a solution — they should explain the steps and thinking strategies that you used to obtain the solution. Comments should further the discussion of math and science.

When posting on Brilliant:

  • Use the emojis to react to an explanation, whether you're congratulating a job well done , or just really confused .
  • Ask specific questions about the challenge or the steps in somebody's explanation. Well-posed questions can add a lot to the discussion, but posting "I don't understand!" doesn't help anyone.
  • Try to contribute something new to the discussion, whether it is an extension, generalization or other idea related to the challenge.
  • Stay on topic — we're all here to learn more about math and science, not to hear about your favorite get-rich-quick scheme or current world events.

MarkdownAppears as
*italics* or _italics_ italics
**bold** or __bold__ bold

- bulleted
- list

  • bulleted
  • list

1. numbered
2. list

  1. numbered
  2. list
Note: you must add a full line of space before and after lists for them to show up correctly
paragraph 1

paragraph 2

paragraph 1

paragraph 2

[example link]( link
> This is a quote
This is a quote
    # I indented these lines
    # 4 spaces, and now they show
    # up as a code block.

    print "hello world"
# I indented these lines
# 4 spaces, and now they show
# up as a code block.

print "hello world"
MathAppears as
Remember to wrap math in \( ... \) or \[ ... \] to ensure proper formatting.
2 \times 3 2×3 2 \times 3
2^{34} 234 2^{34}
a_{i-1} ai1 a_{i-1}
\frac{2}{3} 23 \frac{2}{3}
\sqrt{2} 2 \sqrt{2}
\sum_{i=1}^3 i=13 \sum_{i=1}^3
\sin \theta sinθ \sin \theta
\boxed{123} 123 \boxed{123}


Sort by:

Top Newest

That's nothing! I remembered ALL the digits of the largest known prime number. Here it goes:

1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111fifty-seven million eight hundred eighty-five thousand one hundred sixty-one 1’s \large \underbrace{111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 \ldots 1}_{\text{fifty-seven million eight hundred eighty-five thousand one hundred sixty-one } 1 \text{'s} }

in base 2.

Pi Han Goh - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

Show off! :)

For those who don't know what @Pi Han Goh is talking about: there are certain primes that are off the form 2p12^p-1 where pp is a prime number. These prime numbers are called Mersenne primes. Mersenne primes tend to get really big really fast and it's not hard to see why. In fact the largest known prime number is a Mersenne prime, 25788516112^{57885161}-1 where 5788516157885161 is a prime number. And everyone knows that 2k12^k-1 is just kk 11's in binary.

Mursalin Habib - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I saw that on Numberphile he's like "I memorized it all... what's more, in base 2!"

"No wayyyyy that's impossible"


"Oh ok that's hilarious"

Spock Weakhypercharge - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I memorized 130 digits in an afternoon for a pi day competition at my school. The next day I learn that I'm going to seattle for a soccer tournament instead.😫

Robert Fritz - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I've memorized about 400 digits. I had a really boring math class in fifth grade and I sat next to the giant pi poster my teacher had in her room.

Trevor B. - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I remember the value of π \pi upto 3.14159265358979, which is because it was mentioned in a movie "Night at the Museum 2"....

Shabarish Ch - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I memorised up to 314 digits for pi day.

Sharky Kesa - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

You're too good. I give up...

Shabarish Ch - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

That was my first thought too. Do you remember the Einstein bobble-heads in the movie?

Pooja Priya - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I remember them, but I forgot their significance in the movie..

Shabarish Ch - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

I have memorized the whole continued fraction for the most irrational number.. [1,1,1,1,1,1,....][1,1,1,1,1,1,....]. Isn't that much more coooooooool than π\pi?

Snehal Shekatkar - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply

Oh, I have memorized only 41! ♪`~

Swapnil Das - 6 years, 1 month ago

Log in to reply

@Mursalin Habib, that's a great note. But would you tell me how did you make the Wikipedia article look like that? (I mean the formatting & the code you used)

Ameya Salankar - 7 years, 3 months ago

Log in to reply


Problem Loading...

Note Loading...

Set Loading...