Nature in Numbers

Saw something pretty cool on Boing Boing just now – a short film demonstrating how mathematic principles manifest in nature. It’s something you’ll all have heard about, but the below actually shows you the background, and does so in a really lovely way.

Top marks to filmmaker Cristobal Vila for making Fibonacci, Golden and Angle Ratios, Delaunay Triangulation and Voronoi Tessellations look so darn good.

His website goes further into exploring these ideas:

This section is meant to be a complement to the animation, in order to better understand the theoretical basis that you can find behind the sequences. It was also, more or less, the appearance of the screenplay in the days that I was planning this project.

And goes on to provide great explanations like this:

  • We add a first red seed
  • Turn 137.5º
  • Add a second green color seed and make the previous traveling to the center.
  • Turn other 137.5º
  • Add a third ocher seed and make the previous traveling to the center, to stay side by side with the first one
  • Turn other 137.5º…
  • …and so on, seed after seed, we will obtain gradually a kind of distributions like the ones you have in the following figures

This leads to the characteristic structure in which all seeds are arranged into a sunflower, which is as compact as possible. We have always said: nature is wise 🙂

Lovely.

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Tom Saunter

I like to think about the media, technology, pop-culture & the future. When not blogging, I tweet @freedimensional & work @MediaComUK. Feel free to visit my Personal Bio to learn more about me.

  • My dissertation during the fourth year of my Maths degree covered mathematical models for pattern formation in biology. It wasn't nearly as pretty as this though!