NUMBERS IN NATURE

Let us look at the following series of numbers: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89.

What is the pattern in these numbers? In this series each number is the sum of the previous two: 5+8=13;8+13=21. Though this may appear as just an interesting concept, it really is found in nature.

These numbers are found in the branching of trees, in the spiral pine cones, pineapple scales and sunflower seeds at the centre of flowers, and the number of petals in flowers.

Most daisies have 34,55 or 89 petals. Many other flowers also have a number of petals which belong to either the Fibonacci series or the Lucas series (2,1,3,4,7,11…)

Phyllotaxy means the arrangement of leaves on the stem of a plant. The basic pattern is alternate, opposite, or spiral. In spiral arrangements of different plants, the angle between alternate leaves can be 1/3,2/5,3/8, and 5/13 of 360. The numerator and denominator normally consist of a Fibonacci number and its second successor. With larger Fibonacci pairs, the angle approaches 222.5.

In pine cones the number of visible clockwise spirals and anti-clockwise spirals formed are often two successive elements of the Fibonacci sequence when viewed from the top. The same is true of the number of opposite spirals observed at the centre of sunflowers and in pineapple scales. It has been suggested that Fibonacci patterns optimize access to rain, moisture and sunlight in plants.

MATHS IS EVERY WHERE, YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE AN EYE FOR IT.

Munish Sharma

Teacher (DPSGI)

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