Definition:Fibonacci Number/Historical Note

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Historical Note on Fibonacci Numbers

Leonardo Fibonacci famously discussed this sequence in his Liber Abaci, in the context of breeding pairs of rabbits.

Hence the name Fibonacci numbers, which was given to this sequence by Édouard Lucas, who studied them in detail.


The sequence $\left \langle {F_n}\right \rangle$ was known to Indian mathematicians as long ago as the $7$th century C.E.

It was also studied by Gopāla before $1135$, and by Acharya Hemachandra in about $1150$.

Hence some sources refer to these numbers as the Gopala-Hemachandra numbers.

They are also discussed by Johannes Kepler in his work of $1611$ De Nive Sexangula (On the Six-Cornered Snowflake). It is suspected that Kepler was himself unfamiliar with Fibonacci's work.

Kepler himself had noticed the appearance of Fibonacci numbers in the growth of plants:

It is in the likeness of this self-developing series that the faculty of propagation is, in my opinion, formed; and so in a flower the authentic flag of this faculty is shown, the pentagon. I pass over all the other arguments that a delightful rumination could adduce in proof of this.


Sources