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golden ratio

Is there a scientific way to tell how good looking you are?

Three young scientists at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition examining the maths of attractiveness.

SINCE NARCISSUS FIRST gazed at his reflection in a body of water, mankind has had something of an obsession with its appearance.

But is there a scientific way to tell how attractive a person is?

According to three budding scientists at this year’s BT Young Scientist awards, there could be.

Using the Golden Ratio, Julia Letz, Ana Zuazua Ruiz and Pia Kolb from Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed in Tipperary have looked into what makes certain people attractive.

The Golden Ratio is the number 1.618. By using this ratio and examining the distances between certain features on a person’s face – elements of symmetry can be determined.

At their exhibition, the students were able to use the outline below to determine how a person’s face measures up in relation to the Golden Ratio.

upright image The tool used to measure how close a person comes to the Golden Ratio

In their results the girls found that while there appears to be a some truth in the idea that the Golden Ratio makes a person more attractive – other factors, such as smell, also come into play.

Celebrities found to have the Golden Ratio included Selena Gomez, George Clooney and Brad Pitt – with some fitting the ratio’s criteria more than others.


As part of the project the proportions of a Barbie doll were examined to determine if its proportions were realistic. It was found that Barbie’s body shape would not be able to contain a liver.


Here are the three young scientists talking about their project…

Video / YouTube

Read: Here are five projects worth catching as BT’s Young Scientist awards get underway

Also: 8 experiences all Irish students have had visiting the BT Young Scientist Exhibition

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