- In 1978 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson received the Nobel Prize in Physics for their detection of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation even though they weren't looking for it and didn't know what it was when they found it. Subsequent measurements of CMB radiation led to the acceptance of the Big Bang model of creation over the Steady State model by the mainstream scientific community.
- Graham's Number, named after the mathematician Ronald Grahan, was described by Martin Gardner as "the largest number ever used in a serious mathematical proof" (Scientific American, Nov 1977). Nobody, not even Ronald Graham, knows what digit this number begins with, but it is known to end in a 7.
- Graham's Number is the best known upper bound to the solution to problem in Ramsay theory. Nobody knows the actual solution to this problem but Graham and Rothschild (1971)
proved that the solution must be no greater than Graham's Number. They also proved that the solution could be as small as (but no smaller than) 6.
- Graham's Number is so big that it would be impossible to write it down as a string of digits. All the atoms on Earth would not be sufficient to get even close to writing it down.
- J.A Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, discovered a novel proof of the Pythagorean Theorem in 1876.
- The Earth's surface is smoother than that of a billiard ball. In other words,
if a billiard ball was enlarged to the size of Earth, the imperfections on the surface of the enlarged ball would protrude higher than
Earth's highest mountains and sink lower than Earth's deepest trenches. (See curiouser.co.uk's proof of Earth's smoothness.)
- On November 20, 2005, Chao Lu from China broke the official world record for memorising pi. He correctly recitied pi to 67,890 decimal places in 24 hours and 4 minutes, with no breaks. It had taken him a year to try to memorise
pi to 100,000 digits but when attempting the record he made a mistake on the 67,891st digit.
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