lake at the Maryland Science and Technology Center, Bowie, Maryland, in
the northeast quadrant of US 50 and MD 301/ MD 3.
156″ of concrete and steel, 28 wood pilings each 480″
The Fibonacci numbers are ubiquitious in nature and mathematics.
In a problem published 800 years ago, Leonardo of Pisa, a.k.a. Fibonacci
formulated his famous rabbit problem: beginning with a newborn fertile
pair of rabbits, how many pairs will accumulate monthly if each
pair produces another pair from their second month on? The solution of
this leads to a recursively defined sequence of integers,
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, …
This sequence has the property that two consequtive terms added give the
Fibonacci numbers are ubiquitious in nature. They show up in growth
patterns or phyllotaxis: leaf rotation on twigs, elm and lime 1/2,
oak and cherry 2/5, poplar and pear 3/8, willow and almond 5/13;
left/right whorls, balsam cones 2/3, hemlock cones 3/5, pine cones 5/8,
pineapple florets 8/13, sunflower florets 34/55, giant sunflower florets 55/89.
Fibonacci numbers show up in the logarithmic spirals of seashells. They show up in
many surprising places, even in the principality of Bowie, Maryland.
Walk the 2/3 mile around Lake Fibonacci at the Maryland Science and Technology Center
bordered by Curie Drive, Science Drive, and Melford Boulevard in Bowie, Maryland.
A favorite watering place for friend, fowl, fist, and turtle, this lake features
this mathematical sculpture that contains over 45 tons of alternating color billion
year old Texas granite. Thirteen water cannons spurt a mathematical profile curve
over 36 feet into the air, recycling freshly oxygenated water. This fountain is
especially beautiful at night with the interplay of stone, water, and light.
The water cannons are located at Fibonacci number intervals along the x axis
in the y = 0 vertical plane. The surface profile (mostly negative gaussian curvature)
follows the expression | ((1 + âˆš5)/2) (1/(x+yâˆš-1)) |.
The profile formula in this vertical plane gives the essential singularity curve
which tends to infinity as positive x > 0 tends to zero and tends to zero as
negative x < 0 tends to zero. The former case reflects the infinite order pole
and in the latter case the zero has infinite order contact giving the fundamental example
of a function with derivatives of all orders, has a taylor series but is not analytic.
Guild 2002; Guild 2001
SCIENCE NEWS Online, Week of October 19, 2002, Volume 162, Number 16, a
web article by Ivars Peterson, www.sciencenews.org/20021019/mathtrek.asp,
Cover of FOCUS, the newsletter of the Mathematical Association of America,
January 2003, Volume 23l, Number 1.
Jennifer Martin, The Bowie Blade-News, Thursday, October 3, 2002, D3
Emily Weant, photography by Oswaldo Jimenez, Gazette Community News,
Lifestyles, Thursday, January 31, 2002, pages A-25-26.
Eugene L. Meyer, Washington Post, Thursday, December 12, 2002, B1, B5.
Fox News, Channel 5, December 26, 2002 has some nice footage of the Fibonacci
Fountain with a rainbow. Do the fibonacci numbers have a mathematical rainbow connection?