The maths behind the beauty

What has mathematics got to do with beauty? Actually, a lot. Physical attraction depends on ratio.

Our attraction to another person’s body increases if that body is symmetrical and in proportion. Likewise, if a face is in proportion, we are more likely to notice it and find it beautiful. Scientists believe that we perceive proportional bodies to be more healthy.

Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of the human body emphasised its proportion. The ratio of the following distances is the Golden Ratio:

Similarly, buildings are more attractive if the proportions used follow the Golden Ratio.

Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio (or "Golden Section") is based on Fibonacci Numbers, where every number in the sequence (after the second) is the sum of the previous 2 numbers:

We will see (below) how the Fibonnaci Numbers lead to the Golden Ratio:


Phi (Ö) is like pi (ð) in the sense that it is an irrational number. There is no equivalent fraction for Ö and its decimal keeps going and never stops.
The Golden Ratio also occurs in nature, in the patterns we see in sunflowers, pine cones and so on. This is largely because one of the best ways to efficiently pack things tightly together is using the Fibonacci sequence.
 
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