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The plot of numbers: the intriguing mathematical reading of the Universe.

What could be more fascinating than a geometric-philosophical puzzle?
To what extent are these two disciplines linked?
The simplest answer that comes to mind is that in ancient Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, the first philosophers were  above all mathematicians. Pythagoras, for example, father of the homonymous theorem, was also an important philosopher.
He was the first to say that the underlying plot of reality as we know it is the number and indeed more: he claimed that the Number was the Arché, or the origin of the whole Universe.

Madness? An ironic mathematical provocation? Not exactly.
History, but also mathematics, architecture, art and science, have taught us how we used to perceive “beautiful” what is proportionate, harmonious; if we go to investigate and quantify these proportions, we realize that everything we call harmonious refers to geometry and mathematics, specifically the number “phi” (1,618>1).

Also called the golden number, the number phi is a constant that we frequently find in many areas, not only in geometry and architecture, which are constructed artfully by man, but also in nature.

Leonardo Pisano, called the Fibonacci, Italian mathematician of the thirteenth century, who introduced in Europe the positional notation, a method of writing numbers, that we still use today. This replaced the Roman numerals and changed the lives of traders.

Fibonacci is also known for posterity for having identified a numerical series, bearing his name, in which each term is the sum of the two preceding it. Well, this series is present in different geometric and natural shapes.

One of the most famous geometric shapes related to Fibonacci is the logarithmic spiral: if we imagine we place a series of squares side by side, whose side is given by the sum of the sides of the previous two, and then we draw an arc in each of them having the same side for radius, we obtain a spiral shape (the logarithmic spiral in fact) that recalls the design of a snail.

Also the natural forms attributable to the golden number are numerous: in the fractals of broccoli; in the number of petals of roses, buttercups and daisies; in the orders of spirals of pine cones or sunflower seeds; The relationship between each number in the series and the previous one corresponds to phi, the golden number. From these observations we can only draw a conclusion: the geometric shapes we know, even those we see in nature, are not at all random, exactly like those we build even in the proportion of the phalanges of the fingers of the hand. The most surprising thing? The relationship between each number in the series and the previous one corresponds to phi, the golden number. From these observations we can only draw a conclusion: the geometric shapes we know, even those we see in nature, are not at all random, exactly like those we build. Here our friend Pythagoras comes back, who since the 6th century BC. he invited us to read reality with a mathematical eye: the Number is the Arch.

And what a surprise for us at MCT Italy to find an “old acquaintance” among the geometric elements attributable to the Fibonacci series: the Nautilus shell, a cephalopod mollusk, the same shell that we have chosen as our image, has growth spirals inside it which, among themselves, have a ratio equal to phi.

Not really a surprise, actually: the choice of the nautilus as our symbol was decided in 2017, the year of the celebrations for the company’s 50th anniversary.

We were fascinated by the idea of reviewing, in constant growth over time, concrete, according to physical logics that facilitate the life of the shellfish, our growth, our change, constant and always with an eye to changing markets and technologies.

A change that, we discover, is harmonious, one with Number and Nature.

So, we said, isn’t this key to understanding the Universe really fascinating?

Finally, a curiosity, already in 1959 Walt Disney was exploring and explaining the world of mathematics to the young (and others) with his friend, apparently less intelligent, character: Donald Duck in the World of Matemagica.

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June 6, 2022
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