It’s amusing to know how the tiniest atoms in the universe and the gargantuan galaxies are bound by the same proportion! The Golden Ratio is a number that’s ubiquitous in nature. Live Science describes it as ‘the number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part.’
The number, calculated to be 1.618, is the ratio of each successive pair of numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence. For the uninitiated, the Fibonacci Sequence is a series of numbers wherein each successive number is the sum of the previous two. So, it goes like 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on. Besides the Golden Ratio, it also leads to the Golden Rectangle and the Golden Spiral. The latter of these can be seen in the spiral of galaxies, snail shells, and many other natural occurrences.
We are accustomed to seeing the Golden Ratio, also known as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Divine Proportion or Greek letter Phi, all around us. It is said that our brains are hard-wired to be pleased by objects and images that use the Golden Ratio. It’s kind of like a subconscious attraction that makes us appreciate beauty through harmony and proportion. Here are a few common sightings:
The ratio of the distance from the top of our head to our belly button to the distance of our belly button to the floor is 1.618. If you divide the female bees by the male bees in any given hive, you will get the Golden Ratio. Sunflowers, a famous example, have opposing spirals of seeds with a ratio of 1.618 between the diameters of each rotation. It is also present in ferns, seashells, and hurricanes. That’s why beauty seems so perfect in nature!
An icon of the Renaissance, painter and draftsman Leonardo Da Vinci began using the Golden Ratio in his art pieces, including Mona Lisa. Michelangelo used it in The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel. Sandro Botticelli and Georges Seurat are the other renowned names that have used it in their creations.
Knowledge about the Golden Ratio has been there since ancient times. This can be proven by its appearance in many wonders of the ancient world. Pyramids of Giza, The Parthenon and Great Mosque of Kairouan, all include it in their design.
Using the Golden Ratio can make designs look aesthetically pleasing and invoke a sense of perfection. The logos for Pepsi, Google, Twitter and many famous brands are set to the Golden Ratio. No wonder they have such a good recall value!
The Golden Ratio is not just a matter of visual excellence. Its mathematical significance is of real help to the financiers. Many of them use Fibonacci Retracements, Fibonacci Arcs and Fibonacci Fans. Instead of the number 1.618, the golden ratio here is expressed in 3 percentages, 38.2%, 50% and 61.8%.
Now, whenever you see mathematical perfection in anything around you, remind yourself of the significance of the Golden Ratio.