The retired Japanese engineer Akira Haraguchi (1946–) claims to hold the world record for reciting the most memorized digits of the number pi. He set the record starting at 9am on October 3, 2006, and reached digit number 100,000 at 1.28am on October 4, 2006.
The event was filmed in a public hall near Tokyo. Haraguchi took 5-minute breaks to eat every two hours, and even his trips to the toilet were filmed to prove that the feat was genuine. This broke Haraguchi's previous record of 83,431 digits, which he performed from July 1–2, 2005.
The reason I say that Haraguchi claims to hold the record is that, for some reason, the Guinness World Records organization has failed to recognize this achievement, despite the existence of witnesses and detailed documentation. The Guinness-recognized record for reciting pi is 67,890 digits by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China, who recited the digits, without error, in 24 hours and 4 minutes.
Haraguchi's technique for memorizing long lists of numbers is quite interesting. He assigns kana characters to each number, each of which represents a Japanese syllable. In his system, the digit 0 can be read as o, ra, ri, ru, re, ro, wo, on or oh; the digit 1 can be read as a, i, u, e, hi, bi, pi, an, ah, hy, hyan, bya, or byan; and there are analogous rules for the other digits.
Using this system, Haraguchi has created many stories and poems, including a story about the 12th century hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune. The first 15 digits of pi, which are 3.14159265358979, are rendered in Haraguchi's system as the words saishi ikokuni mukosan kowakunaku, whose approximate meaning is “the wife and children have gone abroad; the husband is not scared.”
Given all this, it may be surprising to learn that as a child, Haraguchi was neither a prodigy nor a mathematical genius. On the contrary, one of his teachers once made him stand to attention in the hallway as a punishment for badly failing to memorize multiplication tables of one-digit numbers.
Akira Haraguchi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Haraguchi
Minamoto no Yoshitsune: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamoto_no_Yoshitsune
The Kana writing system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kana
A 2006 article from the Japan Times about Haraguchi: http://goo.gl/d4H2pB
It looks as if the article's URL may change at some point, so you may want to Google the article's title instead: How can anyone remember 100,000 numbers?
The web site http://pi-world-ranking-list.com/ maintains a list of records of reciting from memory digits of the irrational numbers pi, e, and the square root of 2.
Picture credit: Travis Morgan
Picture source and associated poem: https://www.flickr.com/photos/morgantj/5575500301/in/photolist
Long answer: read the article. 😉
Theoretical physics has problems. That’s nothing new — if it wasn’t so, then we’d have nothing left to do. But especially in high energy physics and quantum gravity, progress has basically stalled since the development of the standard model in the mid 70s. ...
Click the link below and watch the video, you'll see how "slow" light is at the astronomical scale...yes tediously slow seems appropriate.
PS: watch it without thinking about relativistic effects. 😉
We think of light as being extraordinarily fast. It’s so fast that a beam of light could travel from New York to Los Angeles in about a hundredth of a second. If anything can be called fast, then that ultimate speed limit must surely qualify. And yet, on an astronomical scale, light is tediously slow. Our solar system is a mere speck in the vast scale of the cosmos, and yet light takes time to journey even that speck.
You can get a feel for slowness of light in the video, where the journey of light is shown in real time. From the instant it leaves the Sun’s surface, to just past Jupiter takes nearly three-quarters of an hour. A video showing the journey all the way to Pluto would take more than 5 hours. It would take about 18 hours to reach Voyager 1. All that time to take the smallest step into the universe.
As you watch this video (or part of it) keep in mind that this isn’t a representation of “rocket speed,” or any speed we can remotely achieve. It is the limit of all possible speeds. It is the expanding sphere of influence for anything we do. We are bound by that speed, as is everything else in the universe.
Anyway, go and watch the movie. ;-)
A member of my Ph.D. thesis committee and one of my mentors at Perimeter, Professor Eric Poisson, was asked by the academic journal Classical and Quantum Gravity to review the new Stephen Hawking movie.
It's well worth the read. After he showed it to me, I talked to Eric for a bit about the movie. He and I both agreed that if Rocky has a training montage in a sports movie, Hawking should have had a "research" montage showing him struggle to attain the very difficult results that we celebrate today.
- University of TrentoIngegneria Civile, 2014 - presentLaurea magistrale - Master degree
- University of TrentoIngegneria Civile, 2011 - 2014Laurea triennale - Bachelor degree
- I.T.C.G. "C. Battisti", SalòGeometra, 2006 - 2011
Studio per diventare ingegnere civile ma i miei interessi spaziano in quasi tutti i campi della scienza e della tecnica, in particolare la fisica, la matematica, l'informatica.
Mi interesso molto di tecnologia, specialmente dell'intero mondo Google. In effetti cerchio ogni Googler che mi capita a tiro qui su G+.
Per hobby mi diletto a imparare la programmazione su Android.
Apprezzo anche la fotografia, preferibilmente urban.
Altro su di me:
- G+ Early Adopter
- Fiero di non avere un profilo FB
- Cultore di The Big Bang Theory (se non lo conoscete → vergogna)
- Nerd but not gamer
- Fiero possessore di Nexus 5 e Nexus 7
- Ubuntu User
- Bitcoin Enthusiast
- Google Enthusiasts
- Tech Lovers
- Android Lovers
- Amazing photo sharers
- Ubuntu Lovers
I study to become a civil engineer but I have interests which range in almost all fields of science and technology, especially in physics, mathematics, computer science (#STEM area).
I am very interested in technology, especially the entire Google world. I actually circle every Googler I find here on G+.
As a hobby I delight to learn programming on Android.
I also appreciate photography, preferably urban.
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