Some time ago, I asked this question but no one quite understood it or was able to answer. I deleted the original question and have since decided to try it again.

As I understand it, all things digital are originally based on ones and zeros - binary code.

However, I have wondered for some time if it would be possible (now or in the future) to use the digits of pi (22/7) in place of the ones and zeros.

So, my question, is it possible? Could it ever be?

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by use the digits of pi (22/7) in place of the ones and zeros? $\pi$ and 22/7 are two different numbers. and please give an example as how to use digits of $\pi$ in place of the ones and zeros? $\endgroup$ – scaaahu Feb 18 '16 at 7:01
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    $\begingroup$ You do know that $\pi\neq22/7$, right? And what does it even mean to say "use the digits of $\pi$ in place of the ones and zeros"? The digits of $\pi$ are in a fixed order but we need to be able to write digits in different orders to express different numbers. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 18 '16 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Yes, I know they are the same. And, I never said that they have to stay in order. $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 18 '16 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ @L.B. If I write "Barack Obama (the president of the USA)", it's understood to mean that those two are the same thing. Likewise, when you write "pi (22/7)", most people are going to assume you mean that they're the same thing. If you don't keep the digits in the same order, then the digits of $\pi$ are just 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, so you're just asking why computers use binary rather than decimal. If that's what you wanted to ask, you phrased your question in a really weird way, since $\pi$ is completely irrelevant to it. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 18 '16 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ @L.B. I suspect they actually said that $\pi$ and $22/7$ are approximately equal. If you don't have a calculator, using $22/7$ will give something that's pretty close to the actual answer, but it's not exact. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 20 '16 at 17:35

No it cannot happen for many reasons.
How would logic look like?
How would you add two numbers?
There is a big problem with telling apart $0$ and $1$ at high frequencies, so adding third option would be harder to manufacture. But encoding it with non-natural basis gets harder.
With non-natural base, all operations that we do are doomed.
If you consider that, try easy example: convert $4$ and $6.5$ into $\pi$ base, add them and write down result.
Since the finite precission kicks in, your basic addition fails. The only operation that would benefit from such base is $\pi + \pi$.

And the most efficient base is e.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, that question has been on my mind for some time; I am very glad not to have to worry about it any more :) $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 18 '16 at 15:40

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