The Golden Mean: Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio
What if someone told you that beauty is simply a mathematical equation? Leonardo of Pisa, who was known as Fibonacci, introduced a sequence of numbers to Western civilization in 1202. This sequence, called the Fibonacci sequence, reveals a series of relationships that reflects much of the physical structure of nature. Starting with 0 and 1, each new number in the series is simply the sum of the two before it: 0+1=1+2=3+5=8+13=21 and so on. The sequence looks like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89...
Now the beauty part. When you divide a number in the sequence by the number before it, the ratio approximates the number phi (1.618...) (Ignore the 0, 1 and 2). As 5 divided by 3 is 1.666..., and 8 divided by 5 is 1.60.
The Golden Ratio, which is a ratio based on phi, was used by the Egyptians to create their glorious pyramids, by the Greeks to design the famed Parthenon and by artists in the Renaissance as the measurement of all beauty. The Golden Ratio is also known as the Golden Mean, Golden Section and Divine Proportion. The Golden Ratio is seen in the proportions of the human body, animals, plants, DNA, the solar system and in the proportions of Art and Architecture. And that's just the beginning!
In this activity, your child will develop her mathematical thinking and expand her intellectual horizons as she builds a growth spiral - a spiral found in nature that can be predicted by the Fibonacci sequence.
What You Need:
- Straight edge
- Graph paper