I came across this https://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/nature-golden-ratio-fibonacci.html

and the rotation simulator just below the first section says to type in a number for each rotation. But, it doesn't explain what it is actually calculating.

If I type a number, by what angle is it rotating each cell, how is it calculating the initial number of cells, and how is it scaling each cell with each rotation to look like a sunflower? This definitely has come up in natural phenomena before like the nautilus spiral and the fern, so I want to know the generalization behind this pattern.

  • $\begingroup$ For a general reference, look for L-systems (the L stands for Lindenmayer) or the book "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants". (Available online as a PDF file.) $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jan 17 '19 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Too broad, I am looking for something that exactly describes the simulation. The question is general only to the same extent as the simulation's parameters. $\endgroup$ – user14554 Jan 18 '19 at 0:28

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