13 yr-old designs efficient solar collector by Fibonacci sequence

By Murray Bourne, 01 Sep 2011

Update: Turns out this was a hoax! See the comments below for more information.

This is a great story.

Thirteen year-old Aidan won a Young Naturalist Award with his re-design of solar collectors so they were more efficient. He used the Fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,...) and his observation of how trees make full use of the sun.

Here's the link to the article Aidan wrote about his thinking and approach to this issue (complete with bibliography):

[The link is gone now - see the comments for why.]

This is great inspiration for those who think science is only for adults or dead people.

See the 6 Comments below.

6 Comments on “13 yr-old designs efficient solar collector by Fibonacci sequence”

  1. Lord Omlette says:

    The solar panels thing doesn't actually work as well as hoped. Unfortunate.

  2. Murray says:

    Oh yikes!

    Yes, I was also sucked in to the "I want to believe it" and "it sounds feasible" mind set and I didn't check the facts carefully.

    It's very disappointing that the American Museum of Natural History doesn't have some sort of peer review process before awarding these prizes (or if they do, it failed in this case).

    @Lord Omelette: Thanks for alerting me!

  3. Fibonacci joke « Random Walks says:

    [...] 13 yr-old designs efficient solar collectors using Fibonacci sequence and trees (squareCircleZ) [...]

  4. seyram says:

    this boy did very well and i want to believe is true. He should keep it up

  5. Kjell O. Foss says:

    A comment to the extrapolation of the CO2-curve:
    The hight of 18 year students in 1870 was 160 cm. The hight in 1900 was 165 cm. The hight in 1950 was 170 cm. The hight in 2000 was 175cm.
    How long time before the hight of the students is 300cm?

  6. Murray says:

    @Kjell: There's probably some evolutionary limit to such height increase, (indeed, it appears to be levelling off) but interesting to contemplate.

Leave a comment

Comment Preview

HTML: You can use simple tags like <b>, <a href="...">, etc.

To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can't mix both types of math entry in your comment.

Search IntMath, blog and Forum