- 4 Jun 2021
- 4,138 (4.54/day)
In the late 1800s, William Shanks painstakingly calculated the reciprocal of primes, by hand, for fun. The idea was to find out after how many digits the decimal expansion went on for before it repeated and this whole exercise took him years. Now, this is a true nerd! And the best part of all, is that it's a totally pointless exercise, as the result is simply not mathematically significant. I take my hat off to our William for this glorious waste of time. The presenter, mathematician Matt Parker, is pretty impressed by this, too.