13-Year-Old Designs Super-Efficient Solar Array Based on the Fibonacci Sequence

September 19, 2011 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Cathy Borer for this article.  See http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-08/13-year-old-designs-breakthrough-solar-array-based-fibonacci-sequence

NOTE: Please also see a follow up article, titled Blog Debunks 13-Year-Old Scientist’s Solar Power Breakthrough: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/08/blog-debunks-13-year-old-scientists-solar-power-breakthrough/41520/

13-Year-Old Designs Super-Efficient Solar Array Based on the Fibonacci Sequence

By Rebecca Boyle, Posted 08.19.2011 at 11:48 am

Plenty of us head into the woods to find inspiration. Aidan Dwyer, 13, went to the woods and had a eureka moment that could be a major breakthrough in solar panel design.

On a bleak winter hiking trip to the Catskill Mountains, the 7th-grader from New York noticed a pattern among tree branches, and determined (as naturalist Charles Bonnet did in 1754) that the pattern represented the Fibonacci sequence of numbers. Aidan wondered why, and figured it had something to do with photosynthesis.

In a pretty innovative experiment, this intrepid young scientist set about duplicating an oak tree, comparing its sunlight-capturing abilities to a traditional rooftop solar panel array. Guess what he found?

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-08/13-year-old-designs-breakthrough-solar-array-based-fibonacci-sequence

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