Fibonacci - his rabbits and his numbers and Kepler

Keith Tognetti
School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics
University of Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia


Leonardo of Pisa (of leaning tower fame), better known to us as Fibonacci, was born about 1175 and died about 1250. His fame rests mainly on his book Liber Abacci (A Book about the abacus or, the book of calculations - in fact its objective was to make the abacus obsolete) which he wrote in 1202.

However today he is remembered in general only through his Fibonacci numbers which arise out of the rabbit problem. This is unfortunate as although the mathematics associated with Fibonacci Numbers is widespread, deep, and full of mysterious patterns he most certainly did not carry out any analysis of these numbers apart from establishing that each term is equal to the sum of the preceding two and mentioning that the process goes on indefinitely. The numbers were not even referred to as Fibonacci until 1877.

In this module we discuss Fibonacci, his rabbits, his numbers and Kepler.

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Updated: 21 Mar 2008