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# The Golden Ratio

by
Mario Livio (Goodreads Author)

Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery:

*phi*, or 1.6180339887...This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio," was discovered by Euclid more th ...morePaperback

Published
August 4th 2003
by Headline Review
(first published 2002)

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## Community Reviews

(showing
1-30
of
3,000)

This book shows how many people have read far too much into Phi (1.6180339887 ...) [The Golden Ratio]. The author shows how, Phi is prevalent in nature, but it is not magically so. Phi's prevalence is due simple to the nature ...more

I'm not a platonist. I don't look at concepts made up by humans and say those describe things humans see so they must have a magical relationship to truth. I actually weirdly assume when people make things up those things should be related to what is true so it is a given they will relate to true things.

there were parts of this th ...more

Mar 15, 2011
Woodge
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
non-fiction,
mathematics

Here I go all math geeky again. I picked up this slim book (about 250 pages) a couple years ago and then I started thinking about it and felt compelled to read it. (Voices in my head. You know.) The golden ratio, or phi (pronounced "fee"), was first discovered by Euclid (remember him from geometry class?). Somewhere around 300 B.C. Euclid--

YOU: Whoa-whoa-whoa, wait a minute, Woodge... you actually read another book about math. For fun?! Are you for real?

WOODGE: Yeah, you TV Guide-reading eejit! ...more

YOU: Whoa-whoa-whoa, wait a minute, Woodge... you actually read another book about math. For fun?! Are you for real?

WOODGE: Yeah, you TV Guide-reading eejit! ...more

**a/b=(a+b)/a=phi**.

In mathematics, there are many ways to express t ...more

The book's strength is that you don't have to be a mathematical minded person to be able to understand it. I could follow the mathematical formulas roughly by the mathematical knowledge I gained more than fifteen years ago, but even though I was persistent enough to try to foll ...more

Mostly, this book is a history of mathematics. From the etymology of numbers, to the Pythagorean brotherhood, and the discovery of incommensurability, and finally, to modern day mathematics.

The book dispels myths of Phi's use in famous works of art, construction of the pyramids, etc.

I find Livio to be a trustworthy author, who prefers demystification over hyperbole, which I respect. ...more

This book is more numerology. The author creates loose and thin parallels to Phi, then refutes them. This happens repeatedly throughout the book.

The great pyramids might be built based on a ratio similar to phi. Oh, no, maybe not.

Oh, these painting might contain phi built into some of the geometry. Oh, wait, nope. They don't. The artist didn't even know what phi is.

The content makes no sense.

The author goes into lengthy sidebars about art and ...more

PHI 1.6180, not to be confused with PI 1.14159, is considered the Golden Ratio. Discovered by Euclid over two thousand years ago.

The book is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, including the followers of Pythagoras who ...more

I'll admit it's not very catchy, but it ...more

This book is a mathematical utopia.

A must read.

When Livio does manage to address phi directly, he does so by debu ...more

*is*uniquely good at it. Other authors in this genre, such as Amir Aczel can sometimes be guilty of spending too much time on sculpting the biography of a math genre and leaving its concepts severely under-explained. Livio however, created what I felt to be an adequate mix between math teaching an math biogr ...more

May 15, 2008
Teodora
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
geeks, wonderers, adventurers, naturalists, stoners, people with patience

Recommended to Teodora by:
ahhhh, math and I go some time back

Shelves:

Between 1 and 2, these pretty whole numbers, lies a number so fascinating that you might be overwhelmed with the beauty of quantifying beauty's perception.

Enter Phi= 1.6180339887....

This humber can explain the difference between the architecture of the Guggenheim as opposed to that of any classical courthouse (picture columns and squares).

The latter are commensurable numbers unlike Phi, which defines rose petal growth, mollusk shell growth, The proportions in Kate Moss's face, and many other be ...more

Enter Phi= 1.6180339887....

This humber can explain the difference between the architecture of the Guggenheim as opposed to that of any classical courthouse (picture columns and squares).

The latter are commensurable numbers unlike Phi, which defines rose petal growth, mollusk shell growth, The proportions in Kate Moss's face, and many other be ...more

Jun 28, 2011
Cassandra Kay Silva
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
mathematics

I was so excited to get this book. I have a minor obsession with the golden section/ratio. I have always somewhere deep in my heart hoped that string theory would turn out to have strings vibrating at ratios or frequencies somehow related to the golden section. Unfortunantly I already knew everything in this book. Nuts~! I was hoping to get some new information. I don't think that is a fair reason to say that the book was not great. It was still really fun.

Author Marco Livio describes the history of the Golden Ratio (Phi), an irrational number which has been imbued with special meanings by some. Livio explored the history of the philosophy of mathematics starting with the Pythagoreans and follows developments in mathematical philosophy to the present day. The author uses this history to explore how Phi shows up in nature such as with the distributions of leaves on planets, the spiral of a conch shell, and th ...more

**"La sezione aurea" ovvero "Opere famose che non hanno nulla a che spartire con ɸ"**

Non è mia abitudine lasciare da parte un libro, ma quando è troppo, è troppo.

La storia di ɸ, un numero irrazionale che vale 1,618..., e del suo sorprendente ricorrere negli ambiti più svariati, è un argomento che ben si sarebbe prestato alla stesura di un saggio valido.

Quello di Mario Livio mi ricorda vagamente un trattato esoterico un po' fuori luogo, in cui gli appassionati di ɸ (categoria di cui lui, per fortuna, ...more

This book gives some of it but is really not mathematics and as for any reader who is a non prefessional or layperson in the subject of mathematics, it might provide some interesting history and anecdotes apart from some introduction to ...more

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People read this stuff? | 7 | 81 | Aug 07, 2013 06:35AM |