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Part of the National Science and Engineering Week.


University of Birmingham π Day

Understanding the Mathematics of the Universe.

Saturday March 14th from 10am at the University of Birmingham - Poynting Physics Building

Pi Day is currently planned to run from 10:00 am to 5:15 pm on Saturday 14th of March 2009. Entrance and all activities are free, but due to limits on numbers certain workshops will be on a first-come-first served basis. We hope to see you there!

This event is part of the National Science and Engineering Week events at the University of Birmingham.

Space, the Final Frontier as many would say, is a spectacular place. The Universe is teeming with objects so awe inspiring in nature that perhaps one can not help but feel a little dwarfed by them. Yet this does not daunt many of those who study the Universe, trying to understand its many facets: from where it came from, to how it will die and everything in between. One of the most eminent figures from the twentieth century in this quest was Albert Einstein, who's work on gravity laid the foundations for much of what would follow in the following decades and beyond.

Given that 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, the University of Birmingham's Astronomical Society feel that it is important to understand the role that mathematics plays in the Universe and there is no better day than on Pi Day to do this. Pi Day is the celebration of the irrational number which represents the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

This event will feature many activities hands on activities such as rocket launching, Mars Rover building and how to build your own sextant. There will be a number of mathematics sessions, including code breaking and the shape of the Universe. The will be a chance to explore the night sky in a mobile planetarium. There are also a number of talks planned for the day. In the morning we will explore the Universe with Samuel George talking about the hunt for extraterrestrial life in "Is Anybody Out There?" and Ria Johnson looking at galaxies, far, far away in "How to build a Universe". In the afternoon we will explore the mathematics of the Universe with Dr Chris Sangwin who will be giving the afternoon talk on Pi, in "How Round is your Circle?". There will be a raffle and a number of exhibitions stands which will includes local societies and retail stalls giving you the opportunity to follow-up your interest.

Event Location: The day will be taking place in the Poynting Physics Building (R13 on the University map), the talks will take place in the Large Lecture Theatre (S02). Directions to the University can be found on the University's visitor information pages and a campus map can be found here.