Friday, November 23, 2012

Fibonacci Day

Today is Fibonacci Day because the numbers corresponding to this date fit into the Finbonacci Sequence (Nov 23 = 1,1,2,3).

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about the Fibonacci sequence.  I’ve always been fascinated with chambered nautilus shells and the spirals found in seedheads of some flowers such as large sunflowers or coneflowers:
Chambered Nautilus Shell - Image by Jitze

 Coneflower - R. Knott - Univ of Surrey - UK
Leonardo da Pisa (nicknamed Fibonacci), a mathematician, was born in Pisa around 1170 AD and is best known for a simple series of numbers called the Fibonacci sequence.  The series begins with 0 and 1.   After that, it uses the simple rule of adding the last two numbers to get the next:  1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc.

The Fibonacci sequence appears consistently in nature in various ways – such as in seeds, flowers, petals, pine cones, fruit and vegetables, among others. Some plants branch in such a way that they always have a Fibonacci number of growing points. Flowers often have a Fibonacci number of petals, daisies can have 34, 55 even 89 petals.  Seeds of a sunflower appear to spiral outwards to the left and to the right - and there are a Fibonacci number of spirals.  This arrangement keeps the seeds uniformly packed no matter how large the seed head.

Someday, I’d really like to make a quilt based on the Fibonacci Sequence – it would be quite easy:
To learn more about the mathematical concept, check out these great sites:

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