Vol. 11, No. 2, 2022

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Visibility properties of spiral sets

Faustin Adiceam and Ioannis Tsokanos

Vol. 11 (2022), No. 2, 149–159

A spiral in d+1 is defined as a set of the form {nd + 1 un}n1, where (un)n1 is a spherical sequence. Such point sets have been extensively studied, in particular in the planar case d = 1, as they then serve as natural models describing phyllotactic structures (i.e., structures representing configurations of leaves on a plant stem).

Recent progress in this theory provides a fine analysis of the distribution of spirals (e.g., their covering and packing radii). Here, various concepts of visibility from discrete geometry are employed to characterise density properties of such point sets. More precisely, necessary and sufficient conditions are established for a spiral to be an orchard (a “homogeneous” density property defined by Pólya), a uniform orchard (a concept introduced in this work), a set with no visible point (implying that the point set is dense enough in a suitable sense) and a dense forest (a quantitative and uniform refinement of the previous concept).

À Assumpta Adiceam

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spiral, visibility, orchard, forest, diophantine
Mathematical Subject Classification
Primary: 11J04, 52A38, 52C17, 52C99
Received: 31 October 2021
Revised: 3 June 2022
Accepted: 17 June 2022
Published: 13 August 2022
Faustin Adiceam
University of Manchester
United Kingdom
Ioannis Tsokanos
University of Manchester
United Kingdom