Q&A #18596

The Golden Ratio

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 07, 2007 at 11:59:57
Subject: Re: The Golden Ratio

Hi, Petunia -- Thanks for writing to T2T. There is a good introduction to the Golden Ratio at http://library.thinkquest.org/27890/goldenRatio2.html I found it through our Ask Dr. Math service where you can find the answers to most math content questions. This page can also help get you started: http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.golden.ratio.html Be sure to read the section "The Golden Rectangle," which really explains the ratio. There are more links at the bottom of the page. The number itself, like Pi, is irrational and represented by another Greek letter, Phi. It defines a special relationship between two quantities, or the lengths of line segments. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio "two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller." Another source: http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Geom/golden.html The best way to teach it is with hands-on activities. They can construct Golden Rectangles, a la the animation on the first web page above. Do your students know about the Fibonacci Sequence? That can be a good entry point to the actual ratio, using a calculator or spreadsheet (even better!). Students can draw Golden Spirals. I hope this is helpful. Please write again if you have any more questions. -Claire, for the T2T service

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