Finished reading on May 12th, 2014
The Golden Ratio is a book about the irrational number phi, that is also called the Golden Ratio or the Golden Section and a lot of other names as well, as it has crept up in a lot of places.
Livio tells the story of Phi – about the first mathematicians who noticed it or estimated the value of Phi, but also about some others whose work has had something to do with Phi – for example Leonardo Fibonacci – who is best known for Fibonacci numbers (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,… etc). Apparently the Fibonacci series has quite a lot to do with Phi – for example 21/13=1.61538, 34/21=1.61904, 55/34=1.61764 – the further down the line of Fibonacci numbers you go, the closer you get to the value of Phi.
But that wasn’t the only awesome thing – there are lots of other connections between phi and other mathematical concepts, science and art.
Overall it’s a very illuminating read. Although it’s about mathematics, and numbers, it isn’t as scary as one might think – all in the levels of decency, it’s a highly readable book and should be of interest even if you’re not into science, but for example art – as you can also read about whether or not some artists have used Phi in their artwork, the same with poets and composers.
It was a truly fascinating read, as there are a lot of examples, if you’re that way inclined you can do some calculations while reading it, but you’ll definitely find out some interesting facts about the history of mathematics.