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Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi or 1.6180339887...This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio," was discovered by Euclid more than two thousand years ago, because of its crucial role in the construction of the pentagram, to which magical properties had been attributed. Since then, it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant, and it has been asserted that the creators of the Pyramids and the Parthenon employed it. Phi is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" to Salvador Dalı's "The Sacrament of the Last Supper," and poets and composers have used it in their works. It has even been found to be connected to the behavior of the stock market.THE GOLDEN RATIO is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, from the followers of Pythagoras, who believed that his proportion revealed the hand of God; astronomer Johannes Kepler, who saw phi as the greatest treasure of geometry; such Renaissance thinkers as mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa; and such masters of the modern world as Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe, Paul Cızanne, Bıla Bırtok, and physicist Roger Penrose. Wherever his quest for the meaning of phi takes him, Mario Livio reveals the world as a place where order, beauty, and eternal mystery will always coexist.
"The harmonious qualities of the golden ratio--phi--are pleasingly scanned in this history of the number, and by extension, a historical tour of numbers in general....A shining example of the aesthetics of mathematics."
"With a guide to the history of ideas as impassioned as Livio, even the math-phobic can experience the shock and pleasure of scientific discovery. This thoroughly enjoyable work vividly demonstrates to the general reader that, as Galileo put it, the universe is, indeed, written in the language of mathematics."
Publishers Weekly, 09/16/2002
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Book Description: Broadway Books, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Has a faint handling print on the top edge of the bound pages close to the spine and a 1/8 inch tear in the binding at the base of the spine. Bookseller Inventory # 008205
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