0

Exciting New Results of Turing’s Sunflower Project #CitizenScience

Sunflower

Alan Turing is well known for his Enigma Code, but lesser known for his fascination with phyllotaxis—patterns found in leaves, stems and seeds. The spiral patterns of seeds on sunflower heads in Turing’s own garden set the stage for his Fibonacci curiosity, and after his death, the University of Manchester continued his work. They invited people to grow sunflowers and to photograph patterns, counting the spirals. This month marks the publication of this important study and Manchester 1824 explains the ramifications of the research.

This experiment enabled the study authors, Professor Jonathan Swinton and Dr Erinma Ochu, to analyse sunflower heads to test the extent to which they follow the Fibonacci rule. The findings back up the work that Turing carried out before his death. However, this citizen science experiment also builds upon his work, as the data submitted by growers reveals other types of patterns in the sunflower spirals that are not Fibonacci.

Whoa! So yes, most were Fibonacci, but the real work now starts in understanding the other renegade spirals. It sounds like the scientists and mathematicians have new exciting ground to cover. What is really wonderful is the way in which the research was carried out; over 500 sunflowers were analyzed, including those from citizen scientists around the world. The team at University of Manchester is encouraging people to check out the white paper and thanking participants for the photos.

If you missed out on this experiment you can always start examining plants yourself. What material would you choose? If you would like to focus on leaves, it can be fun taking some macro photographs with our USB Microscope. Just plug it into your computer and this illuminated camera will allow you to upload some amazing images of nature. It’s got 220X magnification and is the same one used by Lady Ada on the Ask an Engineer show. I’ve got one at home that I’ve used for a cool biosensor project, too, and have been very happy with it. So, consider this little cam for some decent documentation of your next project.

USBMic


Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Fewer startups, and other collateral damage from the 2018 tariffs

Wearables — Light as a Worbla feather

Electronics — Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your semiconductor is DOA

Biohacking — The Heart Rates of the Hazda

Python for Microcontrollers — One year of CircuitPython weeklies!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.