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8.7 Spiral cont

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  • 8.7 Spiral cont

Spiral cont

The Golden Spiral, which is a type of logarithmic or equiangular spiral, has no boundaries and is a constant shape. From any point on the spiral, one can travel infinitely in either the outward or inward direction. The center is never met, and the outward reach is unlimited. The core of a logarithmic spiral seen through a microscope would have the same look as its widest viewable reach from light years away. As David Bergamini, writing for Mathematics (in Time-Life Books’ Science Library series) points out, the tail of a comet curves away from the sun in a logarithmic spiral. The epeira spider spins its web into a logarithmic spiral. Bacteria grow at an accelerating rate that can be plotted along a logarithmic spiral. Meteorites, when they rupture the surface of the Earth, cause depressions that correspond to a logarithmic spiral. Pine cones, sea horses, snail shells, mollusk shells, ocean waves, ferns, animal horns and the arrange- ment of seed curves on sunflowers and daisies all form logarithmic spirals. Hurricane clouds and the galaxies of outer space swirl in logarithmic spirals. Even the human finger, which is composed of three bones in Golden Section to one another, takes the spiral shape of the dying poinsettia leaf when curled. In Figure 3-9, we see a reflection of this cosmic influence in numerous forms. Eons of time and light years of space separate the pine cone and the spiraling galaxy, but the design is the same: a 1.618 ratio, perhaps the primary law governing dynamic natural phenomena. Thus, the Golden Spiral spreads before us in symbolic form as one of nature’s grand designs, the image of life in endless expansion and contraction, a static law governing a dynamic process, the within and the without sustained by the 1.618 ratio, the Golden Mean.