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Calculating the Pi constant

posted 10 Jul 2011 14:55 by Rodrigo Caetano Rocha   [ updated 10 Jul 2011 15:58 ]
The mathematical constant π (Greek pi) is commonly used in mathematics. It is also known as Archimedes' constant.
π is an irrational number, which means that its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction m/n, where m and n are integers. Consequently, its decimal representation never ends or repeats.

This post shows a program that calculates an estimation of the π constant. This approach is based on the attached file Pi as an integral.
The advantage of this approach is that it calculates the π with a summation, it means that the task can be easily divided among computers so that the final result, that is the π estimation, will be the sum of the result of each computer.

The following program is a naive implementation of the method shown in Pi as an integral

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <math.h>

   long double pi = 0.0;
   long long int n = 9999999999;
   long long int i;

   for( i = 1; i<=n; i++ ){
      pi += sqrt(
              (long double)1.0 -
                 ( (long double)(2.0*i)/n - (long double)1.0 )
                 , 2
            )*((long double)2.0/n);
   pi *= (long double)2.0; 
   printf("%.20Lf\n", pi);

Note that the greater is n the more precise will be the estimation.
For this example the value calculated for π was 3.141592653589788512... .

by rcor
Rodrigo Caetano Rocha,
10 Jul 2011 15:45