Mathematical Spirals

Today we use super computers and special algorithms for complex problems, however in the past mathematicians could model problems and solve them with very little resources. It is always good to get to the basics and see art in the form of math.

Leonardo of Pisa nicknamed “Fibonacci”, brought state of the art Arab mathematics to medieval Europe. One of his contribution was his book Liber Abacci where it described a series that we commonly see in nature. It’s all about spirals but they follow a rule…

The Fibonacci series can be seen as a numeric sequence starting with two ones where each subsequent number is equal to the sum of the preceding two numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on.

FibonacciSpiral

Although this number series was known in India previously, Leonardo helped spread this knowledge worldwide.

The most interesting thing is that he stumbled upon it trying to solve a rabbit problem! I think the book proposed the following:

‘A man put a pair of rabbits in a place surrounded on all sides by a wall. How many pairs of rabbits are produced from that pair in a year, if it is supposed that every month each pair produces a new pair, which from the second month onwards becomes productive?’