A PHYSICIST HAS EXPLAINED AN OBSERVATION BY LEONARDO.

A PHYSICIST HAS EXPLAINED AN OBSERVATION BY LEONARDO. Instapundit called attention to a recent paper by a physicist, Christophe Eloy, which provides a mathematical explanation for an observation made by Leonardo da Vinci which has never been satisfactorily explained. This article in Wired by Kim Krieger of ScienceNOW describes what Eloy has done. Graphic artists routinely use Leonardo’s rule to create realistic computer-generated trees. “The rule says that when a tree’s trunk splits into two branches, the total cross section of those secondary branches will equal the cross section of the trunk.” If the two branches split into four, the total cross section of those will equal the cross section of the trunk. The article has a mathematical formula to express the rule and some helpful illustrations. The rule actually gives an approximation; the most accurate approximation varies with the species of the tree.

The explanation for why the tree growth fits the formula is that the trees are optimizing resistance to wind forces. This means that research relating to the Eiffel Tower and skyscrapers is now relevant to tree growth.

This entry was posted in art, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A PHYSICIST HAS EXPLAINED AN OBSERVATION BY LEONARDO.

  1. Pingback: THE PONYTAIL SHAPE EQUATION. | Pater Familias

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>