INSIDE: The Fibonacci Sequence is a series of numbers in which each digit comes from the sum of the two previous ones. This article talks about this famous symbol through history and explains its importance.
The Fibonacci Sequence was discovered in 1202 by Leonardo of Pisa, although it was later proved that ancient Indian mathematicians already knew about it.
Its relevance can be seen in its visual effect that describes a growth pattern in nature. Each digit in the Fibonacci sequence results from the sum of the previous two numbers, and it can be repeated until infinity.
This mysterious yet perfect sequence can be found in different natural phenomena, from a seashell to a whole galaxy.
Read on and find out all about the history and importance of "nature's secret code."
The Fibonacci Sequence Explained Throughout History & Nature
As we mentioned above, the Fibonacci Sequence can be found in many natural elements, and it has been used throughout history in renowned music compositions, works of art, and building structures.
The Story of the Fibonacci Sequence
This important pattern was named after Leonardo Pisa, an Italian mathematician known as Fibonacci, to distinguish him from another famous mathematician with the same name.
However, ancient Sanskrit texts were found proving that the Indians already used this pattern as early as 200 BC. They connected the Fibonacci Sequence with Sanskrit prosody.
Leonardo de Pisa explained this sequence using the growth of rabbit populations as an example. Imagine a pair of rabbits that mate and have another couple of rabbits as offspring, and these two repeat the same process, etc, etc, etc.
After one year, we would have 144 rabbits, which is the formula we know today as the Fibonacci sequence.
The Fibonacci Sequence in Nature
The Fibonacci Sequence can be appreciated in natural settings such as pineapples, tree branches, phyllotaxis (arrangement of leaves on a stem), the flowering of artichokes, the family tree of honeybees, the structure of conifer cones, and more.
A microscopic view of an Anglerfish also displays this mysterious pattern as well as the shape of the galaxies.
When galaxies group together, it's called a supercluster, and when these superclusters group together, we call them walls. These walls of numerous superclusters are the Universe's most prominent structures and follow the Fibonacci Sequence.
The Fibonacci Sequence in Art
Mario Merz was an Italian artist who was fascinated by the Fibonacci Sequence. He included it in some of his most famous artworks, like performances or installations, to represent the universal principles of growth and creation.
In 1972, this artist presented this pattern with pictures of a lunchroom and a restaurant progressively packed with other diners. In 1973, Mario Merz illustrated the Fibonacci sequence at the John Weber Gallery in New York in a series of low modular tables.
In 1990, he created a spiral made out of sticks, paper, and iron across 24 meters of a corridor in Florence.
And you can find an installation of the numbers that make up the Fibonacci Sequence in the Centre for International Light Art in Germany.
Joseph Schillinger created a system of musical composition based on mathematical operations that use Fibonacci intervals in some of its pieces. He perceived these melodies as the musical counterpart of this perfect pattern found in nature.
From the Renaissance to the present day, numerous painters have used the Fibonacci sequence in their paintings (both on purpose and unwittingly).
This spiral is said to balance the features of the image in a more attractive and fluid way than if they were strictly centered.
It is said that Leonardo Da Vinci incorporated the Fibonacci Sequence in his paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and his illustrations of polyhedra in Divina Proportione. However, Da Vinci's memoirs do not support this theory.
There is a widespread belief that Da Vinci's Vitruvian man is connected with this pattern. Still, it has been discovered that the proportions of this figure do not exactly match the Fibonacci sequence.
However, Salvador Dalí explicitly used the Fibonacci pattern in his work of art called The Sacrament of the Last Supper.
The Swiss architect Le Corbusier used the Fibonacci sequence in his famous designs. He believed in the mathematical order of the Universe and thought that this pattern can be found in all human activities. He used the proportions of the human body to enhance the appearance of his architectural designs.
Why is the Fibonacci Sequence So Important?
The Fibonacci Sequence is so important because it is connected with the golden ratio. This irrational number is known as "the most beautiful number in the Universe" or "the Divine Proportion."
Skipping the first few digits, any given number in the Fibonacci sequence is about 1.618 times the preceding digit.
The golden ratio is also named golden section or golden mean, as well as the divine section, medial section, golden proportion, or golden cut.
Throughout the history of mathematics, even since the time of Euclid, people have studied the golden ratio.
Mathematicians studied it in the dimensions of a golden rectangle, in which the golden ratio appears in the ratio of the longer side to the shorter.
The golden ratio has been used to study the proportions of artificial systems like finances as well as in natural phenomena.
We can appreciate this ratio almost everywhere, from geometric figures to the human body, which is why it is so special. The golden ratio captures the spiral arrangement of petals and leaves of specific plants and the seeds of sunflowers.
It's also found in computer science, statistics, and software development applications.
The Fibonacci sequence is fascinating to mathematicians, artists, musicians, and a host of other people due to its ascending pattern that can be seen in both sacred geometry and nature itself. It is both mathematical and spiritual at the same time.
Although it was named by the mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, it was discovered much earlier by the Indians, proving its value since ancient times.
This pattern demonstrates the perfect structure of the Universe. That is why we will continue to observe this remarkable sequence in different musical works, paintings, and architecture to delight us in its mystery.