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Golden Rectangle

October 20th, 2009 by Steven Pomeroy | Filed under Golden Rectangle, Mathematics Concepts.


The Golden Rectangle

The golden rectangle is a mathematical concept that goes back to antiquity. As a definition, the golden rectangle can be described as a rectangle which has a height to base proportion of 1: 1.6180339 (approximately). This ratio also as a special name – the golden ratio. It is also know by several other names, including the divine proportion, the golden mean, and the golden number. In mathematics, it is denoted by the Greek letter phi (φ).

So what is so special about the golden rectangle? Why does it have such a divine proportions? Why am I planning on writing several posts on this seemingly mundane rectangle?

First, let me say that this special rectangle is found in many places. It is found in art, architecture, and nature as well. Look at the Mona Lisa, and you will see that the subjects face is bounded by a golden rectangle. The Parthenon, built in ancient Greece, has several golden rectangles. In nature, the logarithmic growth of nautilus shells is at a rate of phi (φ).

In this section, I will be adding more posts on this subject. I’ll show you how to construct this rectangle, and how to derive phi several ways. This really is a fascinating mathematical concept, and I hope you come back for the post to follow.

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