PowerShell Examples: Calculating the value of Pi

This blog is part of a series that shows example PowerShell code for those learning the language.

This time we’re using PowerShell to find the value of Pi. This is done using one of the many methods available, using a division between n! (factorial) and (n*2+1)! (factorial of odd numbers).

This example explores loops and general math operations, including operators like +=, *= and ++. We also using the Math function to calculate Pi and compare our results.


# Calculating Pi without using [math]::Pi

[double] $halfpi=1
[int] $num=1
[double] $factorial=1
[double] $oddfactorial=1
[double] $pi = 1
[double] $previouspi = 0

while ($previouspi -ne $pi) {
    $previouspi = $pi
    $factorial *= $num
    $oddfactorial *= (($num*2)+1)
    $halfpi += $factorial / $oddfactorial
    $pi = 2 * $halfpi
    Write-Output "Step $num - Pi is $pi"

Write-Output ""
Write-Output "Calculated Pi as $pi after $num iterations."
$SystemPi = [Math]::Pi
Write-Output "The system Pi is $SystemPi (returned by [Math]::Pi)."
[double] $Difference = $SystemPi - $pi
Write-Output "Difference between the two is $Difference"

# Sample output:
# Calculated Pi as 3.14159265358979 after 50 iterations.
# The system Pi is 3.14159265358979 (returned by [Math]::Pi).
# Difference between the two is 8.88178419700125E-16

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