Fibonacci & Our place in the universe
I recently came across this video while looking for some fascinating nerd stuff – mathematics and quantum physics. Lately I’ve been curious about how the world works and understanding the building blocks of our universe.
Incidentally, I’m also reading Cosmos by Carl Sagan, which does a pretty amazing job of explaining our place in the universe, and explaining the universe itself. If you haven’t read it, I would highly suggest it.
What is the Fibonacci Series?
Coming back to the video, It talks about the Fibonacci series and how mathematics is ingrained into the universe. The Fibonacci series is found in petal counts.
Fibonacci Series is a series of numbers, which you can get by doing the following:
You start with 1 and 1, and from there on, you keep adding the last two numbers. So what you get is, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on until infinity. Incidentally, the petals of daisies follow the Fibonacci series (even in spirals of the pine cones!).
How amazing is that. It seems random enough but it fascinates me that there is some underlying mathematical explanation to the universe.
Take a look at the video here (The conversation and explanation around Fibonacci Series starts @ 4.30 mark):
Why does Math fit in so well with our universe, and why bother?
The video is generally interesting too, because it talks about why Math fits in so perfectly with our universe and explains it so well.
Initially, this conversation seemed absurd to me, because it seemed like we are simply extrapolating information from how the world seems to us, and creating mathematical theories around it, but there is a bit more to it than that.
It seems odd that a system that was originally devised to help us keep track of how many sheep we had, can be used to help us understand how the universe was created, how sub-atomic particles interact, and be used to calculate the existence and properties of particles not yet discovered.
Why? It has prompted John Barrow in his book ‘Pi in the sky’ to say. “There is an ocean of mathematical truth lying undiscovered around us: we explore it, discovering new parts of its limitless territory. This expanse of mathematical truth exists independently of mathematicians. It would exist even if there were no mathematicians at all… “
I discovered this website while researching for this post, and it’s got me even more hooked! I mean, how amazing is it that we have no idea why math works – why does it exist – is it man made or does it have an existence somewhere out there?
Regardless of the answers to these questions, it does exist. Either in our minds or out there, and it helps us answer so many questions about the world.
I don’t suppose I know anything about mathematics, in relative terms, but that’s no reason to not be fascinated by it.
Are there any interesting things you’ve found recently?