Today I am very excited to present a guest post written by Hannah for Science for Life.365
Growing up with a teacher as a mother, some interesting lessons were “forced” upon you! When I saw Sarah’s Science for Life.365 post on the Paper Nautilus, it reminded me of one of Mum’s early science lessons, Fibonacci. Turns out his name was actually Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (c. 1170 – c. 1250), but better known as Fibonacci. He was an Italian Mathematician who wrote the Liber abaci (Book of Calculations or Book of Abacus) in which he introduced the Latin-speaking world to the decimal number system, which we use today. (NB. Late edit: I just realised the dude lived for 80 years – Go Fibby!). He’s actually probably better known, however, for the simple series of numbers introduced in Liber abaci and later named the Fibonacci numbers in his honour. The series begins with 0 and 1 and then continues by adding the last 2 numbers to get the next: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987,…
It is from these numbers that the golden number/ratio is derived, defined by the ratio of successive terms in the Fibonacci series (1:1.618 or 8/5, 13/8 etc.). The higher the numbers, the closer to the golden ratio it becomes. Known for being aesthetically pleasing, the golden ratio is found all over nature, from the Paper Nautilus to the numbers of sides on a banana (it’s 5 if you are wondering) or the number of petals on a daisy (most commonly 34 or 55) – oh, and the reason it’s so rare to find a four-leaved clover, but so common to find one with three or five!
And if they’d lived in the same time, would the two Leonardo’s (Fibonacci and Da Vinci that is) high-fived over this masterpiece, thought to be so appealing due to the Fibonacci Spiral?
Turns out, it’s also aesthetically pleasing to the web design of our fave social networking sites:
(note from Ed: I suspect Hannah made this image herself – what a scientist!)
Originally used for solving a mathematical rabbit breeding problem, and forever represented in nature, it’s hard to argue Fibonacci wasn’t Fabulous, right?
It’s the little science lessons you learn every day that have the greatest impact! This early science lesson from my Mum is one that has gone on to be one of the most memorable!