Mathematics in Art

Topics: Golden ratio, Mathematical constant, Pythagorean theorem Pages: 2 (682 words) Published: January 5, 2008
When mathematics is used in art, it combines an exact science with the beauty of the human soul. Nearly everything in art, from pyramids around the world to the placement of f-holes on a Stradivarius violin, has a basis in mathematics. The Divine Proportion, also called Phi (pronounced "fee"), the Golden Mean and the Magic Ratio, is 1 to approximately 1.618. While it is merely an irrational number like Pi, Phi has many unusual mathematical properties. Originally the basis of Pagan beliefs, the Divine Proportion is prevalent in nature, and as such used in art. Even the pentagram used in Pagan worship is an embodiment of Phi. In Edward Burne Jones's ‘The Golden Stairs', the Divine Proportion is used to painstakingly plan the smallest details, from the length of the women's dresses to the width of the interior door. The 'Vitruvian Man' by Da Vinci is based solely on the proportions of the human body. Da Vinci believed, and correctly so, that the naval of the human body can be drawn as the center of a circle so that the fingers and toes will rest on the edge. Everything about the human body has a proportion, from palms to height to ears to face. Even with all these proportions, Phi is still prevalent. From the top of your head to the floor is proportionate to Phi to the height of your bellybutton to the floor. An equation to find how many words Shakespeare used in his plays versus how many he knew but did not use was preformed by statisticians Bradley Efron and Ronald Thisted. They began by counting the words he used versus how many times he used them. They discovered that 14,376 words were used once, 4343 words were used twice, and so on. Shakespeare used 31,534 different words and a whopping total of 884,647 words

within his complete works. The two projected that, given enough new samples of the work of Shakespeare beyond what we know he wrote, there would be 35,000 new words that he did not use. They reached the conclusion that Shakespeare knew...
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