The Golden Number
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
Are you fascinated by special numbers? One number that fascinates me is the so-called Golden Number – 1.618.
A boring definition of the Golden Number would be to say that it is the square root of 5 plus 1, all divided by 2. This is approximately 1.618.
The number can also be found from a sequence. If the first and second element of a sequence are both 1, then every element after that is equal to the sum of the previous 2, then we get a sequence like this:
This is known as the Fibonacci Sequence, named for its inventor.
We can then define a second sequence where the first element is equal to the second element of the Fibonacci sequence, divided by the first, and so on. We find that we get a sequence, where, after about ten or eleven elements, every element becomes equal to 1.618 – the Golden Number.
This number can also be found in nature. The spiral shell of a nautiloid grows according to this pattern, as do the elements in the face of a sunflower.
One fascinating application is to measure features on the faces of people. Take a photo of a person, considered to be good looking. Measure the distance between their eyes, and the length of their nose, and divide one by the other. The number is approximately 1.618. But if the face is not what is considered good-looking – my face, for example – then the number obtained is further away from the Golden Number! Is this number a coincidence, or is it part of God’s good design?
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that we see examples of Your design throughout nature. Thank You that You have made everything just how You want it to be. Amen.
Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica, < https://www.britannica.com/science/golden-ratio >, accessed 3/26/2018. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.