General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


What is a golden section?

Golden section, also called the divine proportion, is the division of a line segment so that the ratio of the whole segment to the larger part is equal to the ratio of the larger part to the smaller part. The ratio is approximately 1.61803 to 1. The number 1.61803 is called the golden number (also called Phi [with a capital P]). The golden number is the limit of the ratios of consecutive Fibonacci numbers, such as, for instance, 21/13 and 34/21. A golden rectangle is one whose length and width correspond to this ratio. The ancient Greeks thought this shape had the most pleasing proportions. Many famous painters have used the golden rectangle in their paintings, and architects have used it in their design of buildings, the most famous example being the Greek Parthenon.


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