# Pi vs. Phi

By Jaxson

## Main Difference

The main difference between Pi and Phi is that the Pi is a ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and Phi is a letter in the Greek alphabet

• Pi

The number π () is a mathematical constant. Originally defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it now has various equivalent definitions and appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics. It is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi”. It is also called Archimedes’ constant.

Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed as a common fraction (equivalently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanently repeating pattern). Still, fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. The digits appear to be randomly distributed. In particular, the digit sequence of π is conjectured to satisfy a specific kind of statistical randomness, but to date, no proof of this has been discovered. Also, π is a transcendental number; that is, it is not the root of any polynomial having rational coefficients. This transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge.

Ancient civilizations required fairly accurate computed values to approximate π for practical reasons, including the Egyptians and Babylonians. Around 250 BC the Greek mathematician Archimedes created an algorithm for calculating it. In the 5th century AD Chinese mathematics approximated π to seven digits, while Indian mathematics made a five-digit approximation, both using geometrical techniques. The historically first exact formula for π, based on infinite series, was not available until a millennium later, when in the 14th century the Madhava–Leibniz series was discovered in Indian mathematics. In the 20th and 21st centuries, mathematicians and computer scientists discovered new approaches that, when combined with increasing computational power, extended the decimal representation of π to many trillions of digits after the decimal point. Practically all scientific applications require no more than a few hundred digits of π, and many substantially fewer, so the primary motivation for these computations is the quest to find more efficient algorithms for calculating lengthy numeric series, as well as the desire to break records. The extensive calculations involved have also been used to test supercomputers and high-precision multiplication algorithms.

Because its most elementary definition relates to the circle, π is found in many formulae in trigonometry and geometry, especially those concerning circles, ellipses, and spheres. In more modern mathematical analysis, the number is instead defined using the spectral properties of the real number system, as an eigenvalue or a period, without any reference to geometry. It appears therefore in areas of mathematics and the sciences having little to do with the geometry of circles, such as number theory and statistics, as well as in almost all areas of physics. The ubiquity of π makes it one of the most widely known mathematical constants both inside and outside the scientific community. Several books devoted to π have been published, and record-setting calculations of the digits of π often result in news headlines. Attempts to memorize the value of π with increasing precision have led to records of over 70,000 digits.

• Phi

Phi (; uppercase Φ, lowercase φ or ϕ; Ancient Greek: ϕεῖ pheî [pʰé͜e]; Modern Greek φι fi [fi]) is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

In Archaic and Classical Greek (c. 9th century BC to 4th century BC), it represented an aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive ([pʰ]), which was the origin of its usual romanization as ⟨ph⟩. During the later part of Classical Antiquity, in Koine Greek (c. 4th century BC to 4th century AD), its pronunciation shifted to that of a voiceless bilabial fricative ([ɸ]), and by the Byzantine Greek period (c. 4th century AD to 15th century AD) it developed its modern pronunciation as a voiceless labiodental fricative ([f]).

The romanization of the Modern Greek phoneme is therefore usually ⟨f⟩.

It may be that phi originated as the letter qoppa and initially represented the sound /kʷʰ/ before shifting to Classical Greek [pʰ]. In traditional Greek numerals, phi has a value of 500 (φʹ) or 500,000 (͵φ). The Cyrillic letter Ef (Ф, ф) descends from phi.

As with other Greek letters, lowercase phi is used as a mathematical or scientific symbol. Some uses, such as the golden ratio, require the old-fashioned ‘closed’ glyph, which is separately encoded as the Unicode character U+03D5 ϕ GREEK PHI SYMBOL.

Wikipedia
• Pi (noun)

The 16th letter of the Classical and Modern Greek alphabets and the seventeenth in Old Greek.

• Pi (noun)

An irrational and transcendental constant representing the ratio of the circumference of a Euclidean circle to its diameter; approximately 3.14159265358979323846264338327950; usually written π.

• Pi (noun)

Metal type that has been spilled, mixed together, or disordered. Also called pie.

• Pi (verb)

To spill or mix printing type. Also, “to pie”.

Not part of the usual font character set; especially, non-Roman type or symbols as opposed to standard alphanumeric Roman type.

“In computing, pi characters may be entered with special key combinations.”

• Phi (noun)

Euclidean and modern Greek alphabet, usually romanized as “ph”.

• Phi (noun)

The golden ratio.

• Phi (noun)

A visual illusion whereby a sequential pattern of lights produces a false sense of motion.

Wiktionary