6 minutes read
August 25, 2023
Recognizing Math in Nature
The popular belief about math is that humans created it to make sense of their day-to-day activities and to solve world problems. But what if math existed before us, and we just came to find it when we did? Often, we seem to find math sequences and patterns scattered across nature, as they had always been there, waiting for us to discover them.
Welcome to the belief of math in nature- the idea that some things in nature, like how leaves grow on plants or how galaxies form, follow the rules similar to the math rules we learn in school. This phenomenon shows that math isn’t just for solving problems on paper but also a way to understand and describe how the real world works.
The Fibonacci Sequence: A Natural Wonder
The Fibonacci sequence is one of the most remarkable representations of repeating patterns in nature. Imagine you have a magical number sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on. Each number is like a secret code that helps nature arrange things in cool patterns. For instance, have you noticed how leaves on plants are placed? They follow this sequence, which helps each leaf get the most sunlight. It’s like a clever plan by plants to grow well.
Even in seashells, like the ones you might collect at the beach, you can find spirals that follow this magical sequence. As the shell grows, it adds new parts to keep things solid and efficient. This magical number pattern is also found in galaxies in the sky and in famous buildings! It’s called the “golden ratio,” which makes things look beautiful and balanced.
Don’t be Stumped by That Tree
You can count the rings to tell how old a tree is. Each ring changes color from light to dark and has a clear dark circle around it. The light part shows that the tree grew a lot in the warmer months (spring and summer). The dark part means the growth slowed down during the colder months (fall and winter). The rings are helpful for scientists, especially if they’re studying climate change. They can tell them the weather each year while the tree was alive.
Geometry in Nature: the marvelous math shapes found in nature
There are many geometric patterns in nature. You will find triangles, circles, squares, and even hexagons, all of these shapes in nature. From how leaves grow on plants to the shapes of seashells and even the patterns on animal skin, geometry appears in all the patterns found in nature.
Fractals in Nature Math
Math fractals in nature are hidden patterns that keep showing up everywhere. Imagine you have a shape, and you see smaller versions of the same shape when you zoom in. Well, that’s a fractal! Nature loves these. Take a tree: its branches resemble smaller copies of the whole tree. Other fractals in nature examples include lightning bolts, coastlines, and snowflakes.
Hexagons in Nature
Hexagons are some of the most beautiful geometric shapes in nature, and they appear more likely on honeycombs. If you want to see hexagons and you cannot find a honeycomb, pour some honey on a flat surface and then pour water on it, after a few seconds, hexagonal shapes would form on the surface.
Concentric Circles in Nature
Concentric circles are a bunch of circles that share the same center and are common. Imagine throwing a pebble into a calm pond – the ripples that spread out are like concentric circles. Tree trunks and their growth rings are another example. Concentric circles are part of the fun math patterns in nature.
Math In Outerspace: A Cosmic Journey
Outer space is made up of cool math! The Milky Way galaxy is a Fibonacci spiral. In space, something cool happens. Every two years, the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, briefly covering the Sun.
But even if the Moon is much smaller than the sun, it is much farther away. The Moon is around 400 times tinier and 400 times more distant from us than the Sun. This math balance results in those incredible moments when the Moon hides the Sun entirely, and it is called an Eclipse.
Math is Out of This World
The more you think about the nature of mathematics, the more blown away you are. This understanding should completely change how you look at math. Instead of seeing math as the one thing you must learn to navigate the universe, approach it as a part of the universe.
Teaching children math in nature is exciting, especially when you have to create math in nature activities or math in nature project ideas. However, you never have to do it alone. With Brighterly, your child can learn all about math in nature, with fun games, illustrative videos, and professional tutors willing to show what to do. Register on Brighterly now to access these learning resources.
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