The Golden Ratio
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The Golden Ratio |
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The Golden Ratio
- The golden number, often denoted by lowercase Greek letter "phi", is
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The term golden ratio refers to any ratio which has the value phi. The image to the right illustrates dividing and subdividing a rectangle into the golden ratio. This page explores how the Golden Ratio can be observed and found in the arts, mathematics, and nature.
Contents |
Basic Description
==The Golden Ratio as an Irrational Number==The Golden Ratio in the Arts
Parthenon
There is an abundance of artists who consciously used the Golden Ratio from as long ago as 400 BCE. Once such example is the Greek sculptor Phidias, who built the Parthenon. The exterior dimensions of the Parthenon form the golden rectangle, and the golden rectangle can also be found in the space between the columns.
Vitruvian Man
Another instance in which the Golden ratio appears is in Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man. Da Vinci’s picture of man’s body fits the approximation of the golden ratio very closely. This picture is considered to a depiction of a perfectly proportioned human body. The Golden Ratio in this picture is the distance from the naval to the top of his head, divided by the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head.
Music
A Geometric Representation
The Golden Ratio in a Line Segment
The golden number can be defined using a line segment divided into two sections of lengths a and b. If a and b are appropriately chosen, the ratio of a to b is the same as the ratio of a + b to a and both ratios are equal to . The line segment above (left) exhibits the golden proportion. The line segments above (right) are also examples of the golden ratio. In each case,
The Golden Rectangle
A golden rectangle is any rectangle where the ratio between the sides is equal to phi. When the sides lengths are proportioned in the golden ratio, the rectangle is said to possess the golden proportions. A golden rectangle has sides of length and where can be any constant. Remarkably, when a square with side length equal to the shorter side of the rectangle is cut off from one side of the golden rectangle, the remaining rectangle also exhibits the golden proportions. This continuing pattern is visible in the golden rectangle below.
Triangles
The golden number, , is used to construct the golden triangle, an isoceles triangle that has legs of length and base length of where can be any constant. It is above and to the left. Similarly, the golden gnomon has base and legs of length . It is shown above and to the right. These triangles can be used to form regular pentagons (pictured above) and pentagrams.
The pentgram below, generated by the golden triangle and the golden gnomon, has many side lengths proportioned in the golden ratio.
These triangles can be used to form fractals and are one of the only ways to tile a plane using pentagonal symmetry. Pentagonal symmetry is best explained through example. Below, we have two fractal examples of pentagonal symmetry. Images that exhibit pentagonal symmetry have five symmetry axes. This means that we can draw five lines from the image's center, and all resulting divisions are identical.
A More Mathematical Explanation
- Note: understanding of this explanation requires: *Algebra, Geometry
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References
Future Directions for this Page
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http://www.metaphorical.net/note/on/golden_ratio
http://www.mathopenref.com/rectanglegolden.html
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