Friday 23 August 2019

Happy Fibonacci Day: Maths fans celebrate number sequence mirrored in date

The sequence can be seen in everything – including sunflowers.

Sunflowers at Vine House Farm
Sunflowers at Vine House Farm

By Nicola Irwin

Mathematicians are celebrating November 23 because the date matches an important sequence of numbers.

That’s right: Happy Fibonacci Day everyone.

Starting with the numbers zero and one, the sequence develops by adding the previous two numbers together to make the next in line.

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In the US, where people tend to write the month first, the date appears as “11/23”, the same as the first four numbers in the sequence.

Cue the celebrations.

The Fibonacci numbers are revered. They are often seen in nature – in the number of petals on a flower, the skin of a pineapple, and even the number of spirals in which sunflower seeds grow.

In addition, a way of representing the sequence underpins a spiral shape which is known as The Golden Ratio.

Now you’ve refreshed your understanding, it’s time to appreciate the super smart work of poet Brian Bilston.

He created a poem which replicates – and explains – the sequence.

The number of words in each line is the same as the total of the previous two lines.

Although he shared his poem on November 8, it garnered hundreds of likes and retweets on Fibonacci Day.

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