Obsession: Japanes IT expert Shigeru Kondo has successfully calculated the ten trillionth digit of Pi
It is considered by many to be the most important number in the world.
Essential to finding the circumference of a circle, Pi, valued at 3.14159265, is engrained in the minds of every school child.
But one pair of scientists have taken their obsession a step further and calculated the ten trillionth digit, doubling the record set two years ago by a super computer.
Many mathematicians try to round it down to 3.14 but Japanese IT expert Shigeru Kondo and U.S. student Alexander Yee have spent just over a year ballooning it in size.
Using a home PC that sent Kondo's house temperature shooting up to 40 degrees, they also lost half a year as their computer failed to cope with the calculations.
'We could dry the laundry immediately, but we had to pay 30,000 yen ($390) a month for electricity,' Mr Kondo's wife, Yukiko, said.
Hardware: The powerful PC used for the calculations ran so hot it sent the house temperature shooting up to 40 degrees
It was Yee who wrote the complex programme to calculate the huge number while Kondo built the super-PC, adding at least ten hard drives to make sure it could cope.
Within weeks of starting on October 16 last year the system had failed and they had to start again and then the Kondo's Japanese home was hit by the giant earthquake that shook his country, but luckily it was not damaged nor hit with a power cut.
Result: After the ten trillion digits were carefully checked it was confirmed that the final number was 5
Then further hardware failures and other problems slowed the project before it completed its task on August 26.
After that they checked the ten trillion digits were correct, and confirmed that the final number was 5.
'Over the course of the computation, there were multiple hard drive failures. Each of which required us to roll the computation back to a previous checkpoint. The result was approximately 180 days of lost time,' he said.