IISc researchers studying string theory find new formula for pi

It is now universally accepted, and was the first ever series of pi recorded in history.
IISc researchers studying string theory find new formula for pi

BENGALURU: Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers have accidentally stumbled upon a new finding -- a new series of representing the age-old mathematical formula of pi.

While investigating how string theory can be used to explain certain physical phenomena, they found a new series representation for the irrational number pi.

Aninda Sinha, Professor at the Centre for High Energy Physics, IISc, one of the researchers of the study, told The New Indian Express that the new formula is different from the ones taught in schools and colleges. The formula taught then has a never ending series of digits.

He added that there have been many derivations of formulae over time. The formula the team has found is close to what was found by Indian mathematician Sangamagrama Madhava, which was written in the 15th century, in a poetic language.

It is now universally accepted, and was the first ever series of pi recorded in history.

Arnab Sinha was also a part of the new study at IISc, which is now published in Physical Review Letters. Sinha said they were studying high energy physics in quantum theory and were working on developing a new model on how particles interacted and their accurate parameters. A new model was being developed when this finding happened.

A release from IISc said researchers were interested in string theory – the theoretical framework that presumes that all quantum processes in nature simply use different modes of vibrations plucked on a string. Their work was focused on how high energy particles interact with each other, such as protons smashing together.

What the team found was not only an efficient model that could explain particle interaction, but also a series representation of pi. In mathematics, a series is used to represent a parameter such as pi in its component form. Pi can be represented as a combination of many numbers of parameters (or ingredients). Finding the correct number and combination of the parameters to reach close to its exact value has always been challenging. The series found by IISc researchers combines specific parameters in such a way that scientists can rapidly arrive at the value of pi, which can then be incorporated in calculations, like those involved in deciphering scattering of high-energy particles, the release said.

Sinha said though the findings are theoretical at the moment, it is not impossible that they may lead to practical applications in future. “Doing this kind of work, although it may not see immediate application in daily life, gives the pure pleasure of doing theory for the sake of doing it,” Sinha added.

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