Nature as a Guide for Efficient Design

By Ann Gauger

A few blog posts back we provided a link to a beautiful video describing the Fibonacci series. The image above is from that video.

Now researchers have found that one of the patterns derived from the Fibonacci series that is present in sunflowers provides the most efficient arrangement for mirrors in solar power generation. 

The title of the article from The Economist? “In matters of clever design, nature has often got there first.” 

Two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have now devised a better and more compact way of laying out arrays of mirrors. Slightly to their chagrin, however, and somehow appropriately, they found when they had done the calculations that sunflowers had got there first.

Pretty cool, huh?