## Math in Nature Exploration

Maple Learn

Welcome back to another Maplesoft blog post! Today, we’re looking at how math appears in nature. Many people know that there’s math within the mysteries of nature, but don’t know exactly what’s going on. Today we’ll talk about some of the examples but remember that there’s always more.

Let’s start with a well-known example: The Fibonacci sequence! This is a recursive sequence, made by adding the previous two terms together to make the next term. The Fibonacci sequence starts with 0, then 1. So, when modelling this sequence, you get “0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,” and so on.

Now, where can this sequence be seen? Well, the sequence forms a spiral. This spiral can be seen in fingerprints:

Image: Andrea Greengard/Mindful Living Network

Eggs:

Image: Andrea Greengard/Mindful Living Network

And, in some cases, spiral galaxies. For more examples of the Fibonacci sequence, check out a blog on examples of the Fibonacci Sequence by Andrea Greengard!

Image: Andrea Greengard/Mindful Living Network

Another interesting intergalactic math fact is that celestial bodies are typically spherical, such as stars and planets. As well, orbits tend towards spherical, often being ellipses. It’s fascinating to see how many spheres there are in nature!

Moving away from spirals in nature, another example of math in nature, although there are many more, is the Hardy-Weinburg Equilibrium.  When in Hardy-Weinburg Equilibrium, a population’s allele and genotype frequencies, in the absence of certain evolutionary factors, stay constant through generations. The Hardy-Weinburg Equilibrium is used to predict genotypes from phenotypes of certain populations, as one example. Come check out our documents on this topic for more details, both on the Hardy-Weinburg Equilibrium and some practice examples.

Image: Maplesoft

In the end, math is incredibly ingrained in nature. We can use mathematical formulas and patterns to predict how plants will grow, or population genetics, and much more! Please let us know if there’s any examples you’d like to see in more depth, and we can see if writing a blog post on it is possible, or even a Maple Learn document for the gallery!

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