Author Mario Livio has added another wonderful book that bridges the gap between writings meant for the academic and for the layperson. "The Golden Ratio", was not quite as accessible as some other books that I have read, but it is certainly worth the extra effort even if many of the proofs found at the book's end remain a mystery.
The book spent a great deal of time disproving the myths of application that have been attributed to the remarkable relationships of the number PHI. Like the more familiar PI it is a decimal that has yet to be proven to ever repeat itself, and it demonstrates its presence both widely and in fascinating manners. Whether or not Mozart used the number or Leonardo Da'Vinci did, or even if a building long considered to be predicated upon the number truly is or is not, does not detract from the wonders of this numbers appearance.
The writer will take you through the commonality in the structure of a Nautilus shell, the arrangement of leaves around the stem of a plant, and even how by tossing a coin can prove truth or fraud in the accounting practices of business. He shares an example of having two groups, one tosses a coin 200 times and records each result. The second group does nothing with the coin, they just manufacture the results. The two groups can be detected, they why is a wonderful find.
Certain shapes whether they are the outline of a room or the dimensions of a painting will generally be found the most pleasing by the majority of people. And lest you think these rules are confined to the shell on the beach or an image on your wall, they extend to those galaxies of which we are a part, why planets move in the orbits they do, and what would happen if the slightest changes were made.
As I said, this particular work requires more effort than others I have read and commented upon recently, and the enjoyment or aversion you have to math will play a role in how much pleasure this read will bring. However, even if the formulas leave you cold, the spirals upon rectangles that form, "The Eye Of God", are guaranteed to fascinate.