August 3, 2020

Targeting Pi

13. Pi in the Sky

Targeting Pi

Here's another way to obtain an approximate value of pi.

Suppose you have a square dartboard on which you've drawn a circle that just fits within the square. You throw darts so poorly that they land randomly all over the square.

Square dartboard with a circle for estimating the value of pi.

The circle has a diameter that is exactly the same as the width of the square. Divide the number of darts that landed within the circle by the total number of darts that were used. The answer you get is roughly one-quarter the value of pi. Just multiply this answer by 4 to get an estimate of the value of pi.

The more darts you throw (and the less accurate your aim), the better your estimate gets.

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