News Brief

IISc Physicists Discover 'A New Way To Look At Pi' While Studying String Theory, Here's Why It Matters

Nishtha Anushree

Jun 20, 2024, 01:40 PM | Updated 01:40 PM IST

IISc professor Aninda Sinha who discovered new way of representing pi
IISc professor Aninda Sinha who discovered new way of representing pi

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have discovered a new series representation for calculating the irrational number pi which is represented as π in mathematical annotations.

This happened while investigating how string theory can be used to explain certain physical phenomena. The discovery makes it easier to extract pi from calculations involved in deciphering processes like the quantum scattering of high-energy particles.

This is because finding the correct number and combination of these parameters to reach close to the exact value of pi rapidly has been a challenge, while with the new discovery scientists can rapidly arrive at the value of pi.

"The new formula under a certain limit closely reaches the representation of pi suggested by Indian mathematician Sangamagrama Madhava in the 15th century, which was the first ever series for pi recorded in history," the IISc said.

The study was carried out by Arnab Saha, a post-doc and Aninda Sinha, a professor at Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP) and published in Physical Review Letters.

The discovery happened coincidentally as the physicists were actually trying to develop a model with fewer and more accurate parameters to understand how particles interact.

"We were excited when we got a new way to look at pi," said Sinha who focuses on how high energy particles interact with each other – such as protons smashing together in the Large Hadron Collider.

"Physicists (and mathematicians) have missed this so far since they did not have the right tools, which were only found through work we have been doing with collaborators over the last three years or so," Sinha added.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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