Saturday, March 24, 2012

smoke funny structure


Posted by Picasa Pause for a smoke. Paws for break.

Sometime a particular piece of music can inspire laughter because of the contrast it makes with its environment. Usually when I walk through the  garage on my way to the vegetable garden on the days when the gardener is working on the main garden, there is pop music on Radio 2. Paul, the gardener tends to keep the radio on even when he is working out of earshot. Today what do I hear but The Blue Danube issuing forth among petrol smells? He seems to have acquired an MP3 player or tape deck. For some reason  the anomaly  of the sugared waltz tune makes me laugh, or perhaps it the music of a remote place and different time with its images of flying skirts and men in tails with arched backs and thin moustaches.

People are being asked by The Manchester Museum of Science to grow sunflowers to mark the birth of the great  mathematician Alan Turing. The idea is to take further the research he began but never finished into the structure of the flowers. Like many other flowers the numbers and arrangement of seed and petals seem invariably  to be Fibonacci numbers ie they follow the sequence 1, 3, 5, 8, 13 ... where the next number in a sequence is the sum of the  two previous numbers. It is suggested that the structure apart from illustrating a strictly mathematical sequence provides the flower with optimum strength to support its seeds and petals.

2 comments:

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

I'm pleased to know flowers have maths on their side. Also that Britain, having behaved so disgustingly towards Turing, is finally making some sort of amends.

Plutarch said...

The story of Alan Turing's treatment is truly discraceful. The fact that nowadays he would probably receive as he deserved the highest honours, is no compensation.