Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Golden Section in historic swords? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Mon 10 Sep, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject: Golden Section in historic swords?         Reply with quote

I have encountered assertions that historic sword designers engineered visual and physical harmonic proportion and even relationships that form the “Golden Section” or Phi. A current article at a premier reproduction sword manufacturer’s web site claims this to be the case, however the article contains a typo where it specifies the rounded off value of the ratio of Phi (stating “1 to 0.618”, it should be 1 to 1.618.) I am eager to have moderate fun with this, imparting a little mysticism into the subject, as long as there is enough substance to tantalize the reader that it might actually be true while telling an entertaining story.

I am wondering how many specific relationships in historic sword designs are accepted as being deliberately designed according to “harmonic proportions” and separately “Golden Section?” Are these aesthetic proportions of furniture? Looking at blade widths, thicknesses, natural CoP location, vibration nodes, etc. it is not obvious to me where true “Golden Section” relationships exist.

As background, Golden Section refers to a relationship between two parts of an overall dimension that form a ratio of 1.618 to 1.0. http://www.goldennumber.net/goldsect.htm Ratio’s of circular section may also be of interest to some. http://www.egypt-tehuti.org/articles/sacred-geometry.html These relationships occur naturally, and human design re-invention could largely have been a matter of recognition. One documentary film (forgot which one) theorized that in ancient architecture this may have resulted from using measuring wheels to layout large scale projects.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Mon 10 Sep, 2007 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe Peter Johnsson and Eric McHigh have discussed this before here. A search might help.
Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed it has been discussed in the spotlight thread 'Swords and the golden section?'.

Note that the article is not far from the truth since, if phi is the golden ratio, 1/phi = phi - 1 wich is roughly 0.618 Razz

Personally I believe that, given the number of funny relations that can be derived from phi, such as the link to the Fibonacci sequence, you could find the golden section roughly anywhere you want to... Including in things that have not been designed with it in mind. However, I agree that it's likely that it has been used as a design guideline on at least some swords, and perhaps mostly in those made by top-notch makers that were fully aware of how to use it.

If the dimensions of the sword are chosen according to the golden section, it should be reflected in the position of pivot points and/or center of gravity, since these are linked by simple ratios that tend to make phi reappear. And since harmonic nodes are rather closely related to pivot points as well... Phi is everywhere Happy

I wonder if it was used in other cultures as well? Has anyone been looking for it in Japanese or Chinese weapons?

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2007 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for pointing out the old thread. That former thread is a good one. I actually did a search before this posting, but think I used "harmonic proportions" rather than golden section as key words.

I personally differentiate the golden section from the Fibonacci sequence. The section is based on the circle with an infinite decimal place number. Fibanocci can approximate it acceptably well but is achievable with simple discrete integers. The 8 by 5 book page size is a good example. One of my friends has a book (an early encyclopedia printed for education of new courtisans at Versailles) from 1725 which actually does follow these proportions (about 6 inches tall by 3.75 inches wide.)

I would love to hear example details of how the Svante conforms (especially in regards to visual aesthetics) in nearly every detail to the golden section!

I can understand CoP length to overall blade length just naturally falling out as being about 1 to 1.6. This is really just a natural phenomena of how kinematics works for a long bar of fairly consistent cross section. Moderate distal taper and a hand grip on something of roughly sword length just naturally brings it closer (see Vincent Le Chevalier's post on blade simulations and study the ratio of distance to CoP over total blade length.) Once people realized where this optimum contact point was (many present day athletes exhibit instinctive, rapid, and very accurate recognition of exact true CoP on unmarked test bats) it would only make sense to tune vibrational modes in a way that they dampened at that point. I can believe this might happen naturally with the swordsmith never having heard of "golden section."

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Golden Section in historic swords?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum