Beauty and aesthetics have been praised from time immemorial. But little did people know that the most effective, perfectly balanced, and visually compelling creations followed the tid-bits of mathematics. At least not until 1860, when German physicist and psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner proposed that a simple ratio, an irrational number defines the balance in nature. The Golden Ratio! Fechner’s experiment was simple: ten rectangles varying in their length-to-width ratios were placed in front of a subject, who was asked to select the most pleasing one. The results showed that the most favored choice was the “Golden Rectangle” (with ratio 1.618).
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