Scientist Smashes Pi Record
He calculates number to 2.7 trillion digits on his home PC
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2010 2:38 PM CST
This photo taken June 4, 2009 shows the symbol for Pi is seen on a window at Pi pizza in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser) – A French scientist shattered the record for calculated digits of Pi, working the number out to 2.7 trillion decimal places—and he did it with a home PC. Fabrice Bellard beat the previous record by 100 billion digits, using a new software algorithm he claims is 20 times faster than previous calculations. It still took him 131 days.

"I got my first book about Pi when I was 14," Bellard tells the Telegraph. "I am not especially interested in the digits of Pi. It's more than just for the fun of it—Pi is a way of testing a method."