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Harald Jezek

Owner, Nuada beauty+wellness


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Phi or the golden ratio

For, about 2400 years, humans are fascinated with the number Phi which is calculated as (1+ square root of 5) divided by 2 giving us the result of 1.61803...
Not only is this ratio often used in art, architecture and design, but is also seems to be a common ratio in nature.
What do you think, is the occurrence of the golden ratio in nature just a coincidence or is there more to it ?
If so, what could explain that that this ratio is so common in nature ?


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    Nov 7 2013: Two things can explain why phi is so common in nature.
    1. Ask why mountains are mostly cone shaped. 'Phi' may be common in nature as the spatial growth of complex biological systems finds this ratio as the simplest expansion route. It may be argued that other different proportions were blindly tried by nature and they just lost out in the evolutionary trial and error.
    2. Another somewhat different but equally plausible cause is related to the fact that most often the claims of accuracy of the proportions in natural bodies to be exactly phi is inaccurate. Arts and architecture are different, they are intentionally created to match this ratio. But on account of a phenomenon called pareidolia our pattern seeking brains conjure up this ratio in nature.
    Fritzie's comment is interesting, thanks to her.
    • Nov 7 2013: There's nothing more satisfying than conceptually describing nature through symmetries, unifying measures and amounts in relation. It gives a sense of control and provides a tolerable paradigm through which we create and interact with the natural world.

      The following is a poem I wrote a while back that further illustrates my point:

      Groups that Lie, Root their Systems in Vectors gone awry
      Conflicts arise, as manifest patterns become the linear structures for life to survive.
      Of salient transcription, notational in and of the principally framed
      We seek to maintain grandiose, semiotic paradigm's begetting invariant claims
      Dimensionally unified, the intangible are expressed by the formulations of mind
      Fighting for stasis, a basis for attaining solidification of place in time.

      The following video will most likely answer most Harald Jezek's questions:

      The Golden Ratio & Fibonacci Numbers: Fact versus Fiction
      (October 8, 2012) Professor Keith Devlin dives into the topics of the golden ratio and fibonacci numbers. Originally presented in the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.
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      Nov 7 2013: Pabitra, as to point 1: yes this might be a possibility. Are you aware of any studies on this topic ?
      As to point 2: This is certainly true. Even in the case of the Fibonacci numbers the ratio between one and another one is not exactly Phi.

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