My previous post asked you to take any Fibonacci number, square it, and also multiply the two adjacent Fibonacci numbers, and see if a pattern emerged. Here’s a table I made for the first 6 Fibonacci numbers:
(Hmm, the numbers in that last row sure look familiar…) It seems that the square of a Fibonacci number and the product of its two adjacent Fibonacci numbers always differ by exactly one. Moreover, which one is bigger alternates: the square is bigger for odd values of and the adjacent product is bigger for even values of . Algebraically,
This is actually true, and is known as Cassini’s identity, since it was first published by the Italian astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini in 1680. Let’s prove it!
First, we can check that it holds when :
Now we can assume it holds for some , and show that it also holds for :
So by induction, Cassini’s identity holds for all . (Actually, there is a sensible way to define negative Fibonacci numbers which makes Cassini’s identity true for all integers , but perhaps that can be the subject of another post!)