Fibonacci- There was a fellow broker at Morgan Stanley that caluclated when a "head and shoulder" formation would act as a support for a break-or run up would occur based on fibonnaci golden mean numbers- His partner used astrology as a complement "guesstimate"...nuts but fun..
Date: 1/9/2006 10:11:26 PM ( 7 y ) ... viewed 1188 times
Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Number
If we take the ratio of two successive numbers in Fibonacci's series, (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ..) and we divide each by the number before it, we will find the following series of numbers:
1/1 = 1, 2/1 = 2, 3/2 = 1·5, 5/3 = 1·666..., 8/5 = 1·6, 13/8 = 1·625, 21/13 = 1·61538...
It is easier to see what is happening if we plot the ratios on a graph:
The ratio seems to be settling down to a particular value, which we call the golden ratio or the golden number. It has a value of approximately 1·618034 , although we shall find an even more accurate value on a later page [this link opens a new window] .
Things to do
What happens if we take the ratios the other way round i.e. we divide each number by the one following it: 1/1, 1/2, 2/3, 3/5, 5/8, 8/13, ..?
Use your calculator and perhaps plot a graph of these ratios and see if anything similar is happening compared with the graph above.
You'll have spotted a fundamental property of this ratio when you find the limiting value of the new series!
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987 ..More..
The golden ratio 1·618034 is also called the golden section or the golden mean or just the golden number. It is often represented by a greek letter Phi . The closely related value which we write as phi with a small "p" is just the decimal part of Phi, namely 0·618034.
Fibonacci Rectangles and Shell Spirals
We can make another picture showing the Fibonacci numbers 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,.. if we start with two small squares of size 1 next to each other. On top of both of these draw a square of size 2 (=1+1).
We can now draw a new square - touching both a unit square and the latest square of side 2 - so having sides 3 units long; and then another touching both the 2-square and the 3-square (which has sides of 5 units). We can continue adding squares around the picture, each new square having a side which is as long as the sum of the latest two square's sides. This set of rectangles whose sides are two successive Fibonacci numbers in length and which are composed of squares with sides which are Fibonacci numbers, we will call the Fibonacci Rectangles.
Here is a spiral drawn in the squares, a quarter of a circle in each square. The spiral is not a true mathematical spiral (since it is made up of fragments which are parts of circles and does not go on getting smaller and smaller) but it is a good approximation to a kind of spiral that does appear often in nature. Such spirals are seen in the shape of shells of snails and sea shells and, as we see later, in the arrangment of seeds on flowering plants too. The spiral-in-the-squares makes a line from the centre of the spiral increase by a factor of the golden number in each square. So points on the spiral are 1.618 times as far from the centre after a quarter-turn. In a whole turn the points on a radius out from the center are 1.6184 = 6.854 times further out than when the curve last crossed the same radial line.
Cundy and Rollett (Mathematical Models, second edition 1961, page 70) say that this spiral occurs in snail-shells and flower-heads referring to D'Arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form probably meaning chapter 6 "The Equiangular Spiral". Here Thompson is talking about a class of spiral with a constant expansion factor along a central line and not just shells with a Phi expansion factor.
Below are images of cross-sections of a Nautilus sea shell. They show the spiral curve of the shell and the internal chambers that the animal using it adds on as it grows. The chambers provide boyancy in the water. Click on the picture to enlarge it in a new window. Draw a line from the center out in any direction and find two places where the shell crosses it so that the shell spiral has gone round just once between them. The outer crossing point will be about 1.6 times as far from the centre as the next inner point on the line where the shell crosses it. This shows that the shell has grown by a factor of the golden ratio in one turn.
On the poster shown here, this factor varies from 1.6 to 1.9 and may be due to the shell not being cut exactly along a central plane to produce the cross-section.
Here are some more posters available from AllPosters.com that are great for your study wall or classroom or to go with a science project. Click on the pictures to enlarge them in a new window.
The curve of this shell is called Equiangular or Logarithmic spirals and are common in nature, though the 'growth factor' may not always be the golden ratio.
The Curves of Life Theodore A Cook, Dover books, 1979, ISBN 0 486 23701 X.
A Dover reprint of a classic 1914 book.
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