There is one thing that ancient Greeks, Renaissance artists, a 17th century astronomer and 21st century architects all have in common – they all used the Golden Mean, otherwise known as the Golden Ratio, Divine Proportion, or Golden Section.
Precisely, this is the number 1.61803399, represented by the Greek letter Phi, and considered truly unique in its mathematical properties, prevalence throughout nature, and its ability to achieve a perfect aesthetic composition.
According to astrophysicist Mario Livio in his book ‘The Golden Ratio: The Story of PHI, the World’s Most Astonishing Number’:
Some of the greatest mathematical minds of all ages, from Pythagoras and Euclid in ancient Greece, through the medieval Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa and the Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler, to present-day scientific figures such as Oxford physicist Roger Penrose, have spent endless hours over this simple ratio and its properties. But the fascination with the Golden Ratio is not confined just to mathematicians. Biologists, artists, musicians, historians, architects, psychologists, and even mystics have pondered and debated the basis of its ubiquity and appeal. In fact, it is probably fair to say that the Golden Ratio has inspired thinkers of all disciplines like no other number in the history of mathematics.