Some of you may have noticed the interesting spiral images featured throughout this website. Here are some of my favorites, along with a brief description:
The spiral of a distant galaxy, viewed from the Hubble telescope, brings to mind big questions of space, time, gravity and energy and our never ending quest to reach for and grasp the stars.
My friend Steve Engler suspended a light from a string and exposed this image on a photographic plate in his basement. Computers may simulate mathematics, but the Earth, the heavens and a simple pendulum bring math to life.
The sunflower, in its journey, searches for life and finds it in exquisite interlocking spirals, rotating both right and left, an expression of beauty and joy.
The chaotic complexity of electrical, biochemical and quantum reactions, flowing through trillions of neurons, remains inadequate to explain consciousness and free will.
If that is not enough inspiration for you, here is a bit more:
The Art of Spirals
The science and math of spirals have been with us a long time, but new and remarkable properties are being explored through the medium of art. Watch artist/designer John Edmark explore the mind-boggling properties of his spiral models and photography in Science Friday’s “Creating Never Ending Blooms.”
For a longer presentation on the math and physics of John Edmark’s Art, take a look at Paul Dancestep in the Exploraturium video, Phyllotactic Spirals:
The Philosophy of Spirals
The “Philosophical Speculations on the Meaning of Spirals” reviews the interesting cosmology of Emanuel Swedenborg, 18th century scientist, revelator and seer. As a scientist, Swedenborg claimed that spherical motion is at the very heart of creation. Modern complexity theory is beginning to bear that out – spirals are everywhere in nature. Spirals are also linked to fascinating mathematical concepts including the Fibonacci Sequence, the Golden Ratio, and the number phi (φ). As I discuss in the essay “The Spiritual Significance of the Number Phi (φ)”, phi (φ) is “the infinite unfolding of the number one”, “the efficiency coefficient of the universe”, and the “image of regeneration – spiritual growth towards a perfect reciprocal union with God. “