Oct
10
2013

# About the SMM Logo

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Inspiration for the Science Museum of Minnesota's spiral logo comes from the Fibonacci sequence of numbers:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377...

The sequence begins with zero (implied) and the number one. Each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two numbers.

0 + 1 = 1
1 + 1 = 2
1 + 2 = 3
2 + 3 = 5
3 + 5 = 8
5 + 8 = 13
8 + 13 = 21
13 + 21 = 34
21 + 34 = 55
34 + 55 = 89
55 + 89 = 144
89 + 144 = 233
144 + 233 = 377
And so on...

The Fibonacci sequence often appears when measuring patterns in nature, including the spiral shape of many shells. The sequence is named after an accomplished Italian mathematician known as Leonardo Fibonacci (c. 1170 – c. 1250).

The Science Museum of Minnesota began using the spiral logo around 1999. Because Fibonacci numbers can be difficult to explain, and the proportions of the SMM logo do not exactly match the Fibonacci sequence, the museum often describes the SMM logo in the following way:

The Science Museum of Minnesota symbol is based on a spiral. This symbol represents eternity, infinity and the spiral of life. The design can be found in all forms of life from the earth to the sea to the galaxy. The shape suggests movement, and represents the characteristics of science in an ever-changing and expanding universe. If you take things a step further, and divide the second number of a pair in the Fibonacci sequence by the first, you get a ratio that approximates the golden ratio, which was a number many considered divine in the past.

The higher the pair of numbers the closer the approximation of the golden ratio.

posted on Fri, 10/11/2013 - 10:01am

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