If a pleasing or exceedingly balanced form is achieved in terms of elements of application or function, then we may look for a function of the Golden Number there ... The Golden Number is a product not of mathematical imagination, but of a natural principle related to the laws of equilibrium.

What do the pyramids in Egypt, Leonardo do Vinci's portrait of the Mona Lisa, sunflowers, the snail, the pine cone and your fingers all have in common?

The answer to this question lies hidden in a sequence of numbers discovered by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. The characteristic of these numbers, known as the Fibonacci numbers, is that each one consists of the sum of the two numbers before it.


Fibonacci numbers

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, …

Fibonacci numbers have an interesting property. When you divide one number in the sequence by the number before it, you obtain numbers very close to one another. In fact, this number is fixed after the 13th in the series. This number is known as the "golden ratio."

233 / 144 = 1.618

377 / 233 = 1.618

610 / 377 = 1.618

987 / 610 = 1.618

1597 / 987 = 1.618

2584 / 1597 = 1.618

When conducting their researches or setting out their products, artists, scientists and designers take the human body, the proportions of which are set out according to the golden ratio, as their measure. Leonardo da Vinci and Le Corbusier took the human body, proportioned according to the golden ratio, as their measure when producing their designs. The human body, proportioned according to the golden ratio, is taken as the basis also in the Neufert, one of the most important reference books of modern-day architects.


The "ideal" proportional relations that are suggested as existing among various parts of the average human body and that approximately meet the golden ratio values can be set out in a general plan as follows: (3)

The M/m level in the table below is always equivalent to the golden ratio. M/m = 1.618

The first example of the golden ratio in the average human body is that when the distance between the navel and the foot is taken as 1 unit, the height of a human being is equivalent to 1.618. Some other golden proportions in the average human body are:

The distance between the finger tip and the elbow / distance between the wrist and the elbow,
The distance between the shoulder line and the top of the head / head length,
The distance between the navel and the top of the head / the distance between the shoulder line and the top of the head,
The distance between the navel and knee / distance between the knee and the end of the foot.

The Human Hand

Lift your hand from the computer mouse and look at the shape of your index finger. You will in all likelihood witness a golden proportion there.

Our fingers have three sections. The proportion of the first two to the full length of the finger gives the golden ratio (with the exception of the thumbs). You can also see that the proportion of the middle finger to the little finger is also a golden ratio.

The Golden Ratio in the Human Face

There are several golden ratios in the human face. Do not pick up a ruler and try to measure people's faces, however, because this refers to the "ideal human face" determined by scientists and artists.

For example, the total width of the two front teeth in the upper jaw over their height gives a golden ratio. The width of the first tooth from the centre to the second tooth also yields a golden ratio. These are the ideal proportions that a dentist may consider. Some other golden ratios in the human face are:

Length of face / width of face,
Distance between the lips and where the eyebrows meet / length of nose,
Length of face / distance between tip of jaw and where the eyebrows meet,
Length of mouth / width of nose,
Width of nose / distance between nostrils,
Distance between pupils / distance between eyebrows.

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