Phi am pretty, oh so pretty…

The Golden Ratio, known as the symbol Phi, is a unit of measurement that has been said to define true beauty in everything from art, architecture and even the human body.  In architecture, it can be seen in the Parthenon, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids.  In nature, you find it in almost everything but specifically flowers and shells, only to name a couple.  Many believe that the Golden Ratio can be found in a lot of Leonardo da Vinci’s works. The Vitruvian Man, for one, was believed to reflect these proportions but actually does not. But some point out the proportions in works like the Mona Lisa or The Last Supper.

But what is the golden ratio?  To represent the Golden Ratio on a straight line you would divide the line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. 


Expressed algebraically it looks like this:



The actual value of the Golden Ratio or Phi, is shortened to 1.618 but it actually continues on indefinitely. Like Pi (3.14), Phi is an irrational number; meaning that the numbers keep going with no pattern.

There is also a close relationship between the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence, which is a series of numbers whereby the next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it (0,0,1,1,2,3,5, etc). Trying to understand the sequence in math is rather dull, however, its effect on nature is beautiful.


Fibonacci Spiral   


Nautilus Shell

When we apply the Golden Ratio to the human body or more specifically the human face, it doesn’t matter the gender, race, color or culture.  The closer one’s facial proportions come to the Golden Ratio, the more intrinsically beautiful we see them.

There have been measurements done on the faces of celebrities and models, of which, almost all follow this rule and represent what we perceive to be beautiful.  Check out (link below) to see some more info and an interesting video on how they get these measurements from the human face.

The Golden Ratio is quite literally everywhere, staring us in the face without us realizing it.  But subconsciously we do realize it, because wherever it is found we see beauty; not only in things seen but also in the sounds and music we hear.


Pshhhh. Math.  Now it’s telling me who and what is beautiful.  Where does math get off?

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