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Friday, July 09, 2021

This Math Explains Why Cauliflowers Look Too Oddly Perfect | Nature - ScienceAlert

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Have you ever stared at a cauliflower before preparing it and got lost in its stunningly beautiful pattern? Probably not, if you are in your right mind, but I reassure you it's worth a try, observes Etienne Farcot, Assistant professor of Mathematics, University of Nottingham.

Photo: Steven Lasry/Unsplash

What you'll find is that what at first sight looks like an amorphous blob has a striking regularity.

If you take a good look, you will see that the many florets look alike and are composed of miniature versions of themselves. In math, we call this property self-similarity, which is a defining feature of abstract geometrical objects called fractals. But why do cauliflowers have this property?

Our new study, published in Science, has come up with an answer...

If you manage to count the spirals, they will typically be numbers somewhere along the Fibonacci sequence, where the next number in the sequence is found by adding up the two numbers before it. This gives 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.

Read more... 

Source: ScienceAlert