Thursday, January 27, 2005
Langdon turned to face his sea of eager students. "Who can tell me what this number is?"
A long legged maths major in the back raise his hand. 'That's the number PHI.' He pronounced it fee.
'Nice job Stettner,' Langdon said. 'Everyone, meet PHI.'
'Not to be confused with PI,' Stettner added, grinning. 'As we mathematicians like to say: PHI is one H of a lot cooler than PI!'
Langdon laughed, but nobody else seemed to get the joke.
'This number PHI,' Langdon continued, 'a one-point-six-one-eight, is a very important number in art. Who can tell me why?'
Stettner tried to redeem himself. 'Because it's so pretty?'
'Actually,' Langdon said, 'Stettner's right again. PHI is generally considered the most beautiful number in the universe.'
The laughter abruptly stopped, and Stettner gloated.
As Langdon loaded his slide projector, he explained that the number PHI was derived from the Fibonacci sequence - a progression famous not only because the sum of adjacent terms equalled the next term, but because the quotients of adjacent terms possessed the astonishing property of approaching the number 1.618 - PHI!
Despite PHI's seemingly mathematical origins, Langdon explained, the truly mind-boggling aspect of PHI was its role as a fundamental building block in nature. Plants, animals and even human beings all possessed dimensional properties that adhered with eerie exactitude to the ratio of PHI to 1.
'PHI's ubiquity in nature,' Langdon said, killing the lights, 'clearly exceeds coincidence, and so the ancients must have presumed the number PHI must have been preordained by the Creator of the Universe. Early scientists heralded one-point-six-one-eight as the Divine Proportion.
'Hold on,' said a young woman in the front row, "I'm a bio major and I've never seen this Divine Proprtion in nature.'
'No?' Langdon grinned. 'Ever study the relationship between females and males in a honeybee community?'
'Sure. The female bees always outnumber the male bees.'
'Correct. And did you know that if you dived the number of female bees by the number of male bees in any beehive in the world, you always get the same number?
The girl gaped. 'NO WAY!'
'Way!' Langdon fired back, smiling as he projected a slide of a spiral seashell. 'Recognise this?'
'It's a nautilus,' the bio major said. 'A cephalopod mollusc that pumps gas into its chambered shell to adjust its buoyancy.'
'Correct. And can you guess what the ratio is of each spiral's diameter to the next?'
The girl looked uncertain as she eyed the concentric arcs of the nautilus spiral.
Langdon nodded. 'PHI. The Divine Proportion. One-point-six-one-eight to one.'
The girl looked amazed.
Ok i can't be bothered typing anymore.. But this is a short excerpt from the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
It is a really good book, and people who have nothing to do, are bored outta their minds and just wanna so SOMETHING. read this book, it'll keep you entertained. I was so engrossed i read and read til i finished. stopping only for awhile to watch That's So Raven and visiting my sister's godmum for while. So it took me basically 5 hours to finish! :D haha...
7pm to past 12 midnight.
Even though this passage is kinda rambly and boring... The whole book was entertaining.
This passage just fascinated me with the Divine Proportion thingo.. Although i left out the more interesting parts about the human anatomy. GO READ THE BOOK.
8:49 am ♥