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A computer scientist claims to have computed the mathematical constant pi to nearly 2.7 trillion digits, some 123 billion more than the previous record. Fabrice Bellard used a desktop computer to perform the calculation, taking a total of 131 days to complete and check the result. This version of pi takes over a terabyte of hard disk space to store. Previous records were established using supercomputers, but Mr Bellard claims his method is...

2010-01-06

 pi mathematics computer constant algorithm
The basic constants of nature aren't called constants for nothing. Physics is supposed to work the same way across the universe and over all of time. Now measurements of the radio spectra of a distant gas cloud hint that some fundamental quantities might not be fixed after all, raising the possibility that a radical rethink of the standard model of particle physics may one day be needed.

2010-06-04

 constant physics alpha time cosmology
A researcher has calculated the 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit of the mathematical constant pi.

2010-09-16

 pi mathematics hadoop cluster MapReduce constant
A fundamental constant of the universe may not be so constant after all, according to a new study. Recent observations of distant galaxies suggest that the strength of the electromagnetic force – the so-called fine-structure constant – actually varies throughout the universe. In one direction, the constant seemed to grow larger the farther astronomers looked; in another direction the constant took on smaller values with greater distance...

2010-09-14

 physics constant astronomy cosmology life philosophy
Evidence of events that happened before the Big Bang can be seen in the glow of microwave radiation that fills the Universe, scientists have asserted. Renowned cosmologist Roger Penrose said that analysis of this cosmic microwave background showed echoes of previous Big Bang-like events. The events appear as "rings" around galaxy clusters in which the variation in the background is unusually low.
 Roger Penrose physics cosmology astronomy Big Bang universe philosophy constant nature law cycle aeon time space microwave galaxy
Google's bids for a pool of wireless patents were based on mathematical constants, say sources. The portfolio of 6,000 patents was auctioned to realise some value from the assets of bankrupt telecoms firm Nortel. During the sale, Google's bids were based on pi, other constants and the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Google lost the auction as a consortium including Apple and Microsoft made the winning bid of $4.5bn.

2011-07-04

 Google Apple Microsoft auction patent mathematics constant