Golden Ratio Formula at Boston Museum Was Right After All

Joseph Rosenfeld of Virginia was visiting Boston's Museum of Science on a family trip

FILE - Getty Images

A 15-year-old high school student visiting Boston's Museum of Science thought he uncovered a math error in the golden ratio at a 34-year-old exhibit.

Virginia resident Joseph Rosenfeld was visiting the museum on a recent family trip when he thought he saw something that appeared wrong with the equation: minus signs where there should have been plus signs.

Rosenfeld notified the museum and later received a letter from its exhibit content developer, Alana Parkes, agreeing with his discovery and informing him the equation would be corrected.

Parkes wrote that the mistake had been there for a "very long time" without being noticed.

But much like the golden ratio is recognized by many names — divine proportion, golden mean and golden section — its formula is also represented in more than one template.

On Tuesday afternoon, Museum of Science spokeswoman Erin Shannon released a statement correcting the correction, noting "the way the Museum presents the Golden Ratio in its exhibit is in fact the less common — but no less accurate — way to present it.” 

“It’s exciting that people around the country are talking about math and science and that, in the process, we learned something too,” the statement read.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us