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Mathematical Beauty

By: Laura Jayne Wood (School of Mathematics)
Competition Year: 2014
Votes (6) | Comments (0)
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Take a look at a sunflower, what do you see?
A few bright petals and food for a bee?
Look a bit closer at the spirals inside
Because you’ve found a place where maths chose to hide.

Count the seeds that are winding anti-clockwise
Then the other way too, now here’s the surprise
The numbers you get, they will always be
Two terms from the sequence of Fibonacci

Take the two numbers, decide which is bigger
Divide by the smaller and you’ll have a figure
A lot like the number that we like to call
The Golden Ratio - a perfect proportion to all

For the leaves of a plant to get the most light
This ratio is used to keep each leaf in sight
For the angle at which the leaves spread around
Divide degrees in a circle by the ratio found

This is one place of many where maths plays a part
As well as appearing in music and art
Look all around you, it’s easy to see
How beautiful mathematics can really be.
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