Golden mean

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golden mean

[‚gōld·ən ′mēn]
(mathematics)

Golden mean

A proportional relationship devised by the Greeks that expresses the ideal relationship of unequal parts. It is obtained by dividing a line so that the shorter part is to the longer part as the longer part is to the whole line. It can be stated thus: a is to b as b is to a+ b. If we assign the value of 1 to a, and solve as a quadratic equation, then b = 1.618034. Therefore, the golden mean is 1:1.618.

golden mean

or section a proportion between the length and width of a rectangle or two portions of a line, said to be ideal. [Fine Arts: Misc.]