... the Hindu-Arabic numeral system and the Fibonacci number system.
Leonardo Fibonacci (c1170 – c1250), an Italian mathematician, as a young boy had travelled with his wealthy Italian merchant father, during which time he realised that arithmetic with Hindu-Arabic numerals was simpler and more efficient than with Roman numerals.
|Copy of a Roman Abacus|
He set out and travelled the Mediterranean world studying under the leading Arab mathematicians of their time, returning in 1200. At the age of 32 he published what he had learnt in “Liber Abaci” (Book of Abacus or Book of Calculation), thereby popularising the representations we use today.
Briefly the system had been developed by Indian mathematicians in the 1st to 5th centuries AD, before being adopted by the Persian mathematicians in India and passed on to the Arabs further west. The numeral system was transmitted to Europe in the Middle Ages, when with Fibonacci’s publication ... the use of Arabic numerals spread around the western world through European trade, books and ultimately colonisation.
|Iris - Three|
|Delphinium - Eight|
|Primrose - Five|
Fibonacci numbers follow an integer sequence and by definition the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1, with each subsequent number being the sum of the previous two:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, .... as can be seen in these flower photos and their petals
|Cineraria - Thirteen|
|Bellis Daisy, 13, 21 or 34|
|Chicory - Twenty One|
The surprising thing perhaps, or should it be unsurprising, is that they occur naturally in biological settings, such as the branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruit spouts of a pineapple, the flowering of an artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone.
|Michaelmas Daisies - 55 or 89|
with Red Admiral Butterflies
has 21, 34, 55, 89, or 144 clockwise
paired respectively with
34, 55, 89, 144, or 233
We have always relied on numbers – our lives depend on them - the Roman legions used them, the Domesday book recorded them, as did the pioneers through the centuries – Archimedes, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Hooke, Darwin, Einstein – while today in the UK we have the Census, which has been held every ten years since 1801. (As a note censuses have been around for 4,000 years and been used in China, India, Ancient Israel, Egypt and even in the 15th by the Incas).
The Core is Eden’s innovative education centre:
see the roof and the sculpted seed below
Today engineers, scientists, mathematicians, musicians, architects, artists ... are all expanding our use and knowledge of numbers – improving on design, solar energy, lightness of materials, optimising architectural layouts, miniaturisation, et al – there is magic in those numbers ... and in the human brain that makes use of them.
The design consists of a central hollow trunk
and roof structure reminiscent of a tree canopy.
The central trunk houses a giant seed (right).
The spiralling pattern of the roof is based
on the Fibonacci sequence.
There is a most beautiful short video 3.44 in the Brain Pickings post on "The Man of Numbers": Fibonacci – by Keith Devlin .. the video is stunning .. and puts to shame all my above words – what a wonderful way of explaining the Fibonacci system: enjoy.
TheTelegraph newspaper article on: A book by Keith Devlin published by Bloomsbury called “The Man of Numbers” has caused a renewed stir of popular interest.
Sunflowersand Solar Energy : Wired Science
The Eden Project in Cornwall
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