According to De Silva, Heard scores highly on the “Golden Ratio Test.” The test measures a person’s beauty by how closely their facial proportions match the Golden Ratio. Is it really a formula for beauty?

## The Golden Ratio and Pythagoreans

Pythagoreans discovered the Golden Ratio – also known as the “Divine Proportion” – about 2,400 ago. The mathematical value “phi,” which is represented by the Greek letter ph and equals 1.618, was discovered about 2,400 years ago.

Pythagoreans are a group of mystic mathematicians who believed many numbers had mystical, philosophical, or even ethical meaning. The pentagram was their chosen symbol. Its five-fold symmetry symbolized Health for them.

The Golden Ratio is contained in pentagrams. Author provided

The mathematical fascination of pentagrams is not limited to the fact that they display ph, a curious ratio. The four black bolded lines in the pentagram grow by ph each time. The long horizontal line will be ph more than the bolded side.

Consider six circles the same size arranged in two rows, each of three. They are nestled within one large circle. The radius of the larger circle is times greater than the diameter of each of the smaller circles.

Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio appear in mathematics. Also occurs in nature. They create spirals on some flowers, pinecones, and in the whirling arm of galaxies.

Fibonacci Numbers are found on the sunflower (helianthus). L. Shyamal/Wikimedia

## Plato’s world of ideals

Plato, a Greek philosopher (423-347 BC), was influenced by Pythagoreans’ love for beautiful mathematics and proposed that the physical world represents an imperfect reflection of a “real” and more beautiful realm of Truth and Ideals. There are no *perfect* pentagrams or triangles in reality.

Plato believed that these ideals and truths could only be seen in the physical universe by using logical reasoning or creating symmetry and harmony.

It influenced Western thought and modern science, which presupposed universal laws of nature, such as Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion or Albert Einstein’s equation for special Relativity: E = mc 2.

Luca Pacioli, a Renaissance mathematician, was a proponent of Plato’s ideas. Pacioli’s written trilogy, Divina Proportione (with illustrations by Leonardo da Vinci), on the Golden Ratio was published in 1509 with paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. This influential work sparked the first wave of interest in the Golden Ratio.

The Platonic ideal that the human body should be ideally proportioned to divine mathematical ratios was also promoted. Da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man illustration embodied this ideal.