Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks

2014

The mathematician William Shanks sacrificed years of his spare time to the decimal expansion of the irrational number pi by hand. In 1873 he published his handwritten calculations to the 707th digit. Much to his regret, in 1945, D.F. Ferguson proved that only the first 527 decimal places have been calculated correctly.
Nowadays Shanks tedious manual task is done with the help of computer algebra, performing millions of steps in fragments of a second, while calculating billions of decimal places. Mechanical PI is a computing machine replacing this repetitive algorithm back into a physical, mechanical language. A constant rotation, pressing and repeating the calculator’s keys, approaching the number Pi, yet never reaching it...

Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks
Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks
Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks Mechanical Pi - in memory of William Shanks