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Having Fun with Fibonacci

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When we pass maths off as boring, we fail to notice the things that make it beautiful. By the end of this article, you’ll hopefully be able to appreciate this beauty for yourself!

Source: Mensa for kids

This is a pine cone that might go unnoticed lying on the roadside unless you love collecting them like me.

Source: Math Images

A picture of a snail. Notice the interesting spiraling pattern of the shell.

Source: Unsplash

Now, you may have already realized what I’m trying to show you. The three pictures above all have something in common — a spiral. This spiral is not any ordinary spiral, but a special one called the “Golden Spiral”. What makes the Golden Spiral so interesting is that it’s formed with a special series of numbers that are used to draw the arcs.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89…

This series is called the “Fibonacci series”. Each successive number is the sum of the two previous numbers, which means the series increases quite quickly. because the preceding numbers get bigger. This series is seen everywhere in nature. If you count the spirals in each direction on a pine cone, you’ll see that it’s two adjacent Fibonacci numbers! It’s the same for the number of petals and the number of leaves on a plant.

This series is also brought up in the book The Da Vinci Code. Now tell me that’s not interesting!

But how is the series used to create the spiral? You can watch this video if you want to make a spiral like this.

Fibonacci Spiral (source: researchgate)

The Fibonacci Spiral is an incredible mathematical concept. You can also learn about math on Schoolhouse, from topics such as pre-algebra all the way up to Calculus and Statistics. Explore more about these exciting math sessions here or at Live Help sessions.

It's the same shape that you saw above in the galaxy and snail's picture. People say the Fibonacci spiral tends to be in the most beautiful things, like the Mona Lisa. and the Taj Mahal. This math concept can even be found in structures in our house that we often fail to notice.

Source: Unsplash peer tutoring, for free.


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