PiPrints

Pi is an irrational and transcendental number (most real numbers are.) But pi is a special number---one of a few (O(1)?) that fascinate us. We invoke pi throughout our mathematical models of the physical world, not just in geometry. And yet pi contains in it an infinite length of digits. We cannot entirely grasp its whole, except through an abstraction in the form of a single greek letter.

Using clever algorithms and simple code [1], one can calculate many digits of pi. On modern computing hardware, it is a quick task to generate tens of thousands of digits of pi. When they are printed on an impact printer with 132 columns and 6 rows per inch, those digits begin to stretch to feet.

Big pi series

pi^2

Large dot matrix digits of pi. Each "dot" in the matrix is an individual printed number of pi.
Qume Sprint 11/55 daisy wheel printer, Prestige Elite 12 ASCII typeface, polymer ribbon
April 2022

FRnTpBNWQAMhxdN FRnTpBLXEAUCPyo FRnTpGIXoAAX2fF FRnT1-jXoAApp8R

Euler's pi

Large dot matrix digits of pi. Each "dot" in the matrix is an individual printed numeric character of Euler's number, e. [2]
Qume Sprint 11/55 daisy wheel printer, Prestige Elite 12 ASCII typeface, polymer ribbon
April 2022

FRnU7NSXMAAOr76 FRnU7NQXIAQMXwF

DEC pi^2

Dot matrix pi printed with a dot matrix printer.
DECWRITER II terminal, cloth ribbon, green bar paper
May 2022

FSrIoZpXoAErvy FSrIoZsWUAAkNnR FSrIodYWQAQ4ccA
FTHglyRWYAAxLSj FTHglyVWAAA-16Q FTHgl1OWAAE 5vy

Digits of pi series

September 2021

15840 digits of pi

20 inches of a full sheet width of pi
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, cloth ribbon

E 0lF6kVkBE X t E 0lF6nVQAoMGTq

Pi, masked

14118 digits printed around the greek letter pi rendered in Computer Modern
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, cloth ribbon

FAI2PdMXIAEuppe FAI2PdNUcAYVi7b

2pi or not 2pi

A circle inscribed in 11436 digits of pi and its logical inverse, 4536 digits of pi printed in a circle
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, cloth ribbon

FAPfeuOXEAMxO5u FAPfeyEX0AEAI2m FAPfeuOXsAEIz3m

tan pi and tan^-1 pi

A large circle with 7842 digits of pi printed around it, and the inverse text, a circle of 7602 digits of pi
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, cloth ribbon

FAVGWrcWUAU1oEj FAVGiOZWEAATSMg

Ones and zeros

Ones and zeros in the first 7602 digits of pi printed in a circle
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, polymer ribbon

FAe3EQPWEAYs6og FAe3EQOXoAAXqhP FAe3EQ9XsAIC2oU FAe3EVHXEAAoWhV

Apple pi

6571 digits of pi
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, cloth ribbon

FAafIbVWEAAB2ey FAafIbVWEAMngHB FAafIbYWEAElbTp

DECWRITER II, green bar paper, December 2021

FG0BWX WYBA9nxY FG0BWX7X0AYflpX FG0BWaPXMAQPaiM FG0BWbMXEAAdqZw

Claude Shannon's Apple

The occurrences of 1 and 0 in the first 6571 digits of pi
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, polymer ribbon

FAfNOfAXEAI8gJ3

American pi

8737 digits of pi in the form of the US flag
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, cloth ribbon

FAaiTJdWQAY-J1b

Imperfect pi

7128 digits of pi with variations caused by the printer ribbon
Diablo Advantage/25 daisy wheel printer, Pica-10 typeface, re-inked cloth ribbon

FAuQcPCXIAEEnlD

References

  1. S. Rabinowitz, Abstract 863-11-482: A spigot algorithm for π, Abstracts Amer. Math. Society 12 (1991) p. 30; S. Rabinowitz, S. Wagon, A Spigot Algorithm for the Digits of π, The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 102, No. 3. (Mar., 1995), pp. 195-203.
  2. Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell, The Number e to 1 Million Digits, https://apod.nasa.gov/htmltest/gifcity/e.1mil, retrieved 1 May 2022.