Branches: Natures patterns: a tapestry in three parts

Paperback | June 26, 2011

byPhilip Ball

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As part of a trilogy of books exploring the science of patterns in nature, acclaimed science writer Philip Ball here looks at the form and growth of branching networks in the natural world, and what we can learn from them.Many patterns in nature show a branching form - trees, river deltas, blood vessels, lightning, the cracks that form in the glazing of pots. These networks share a peculiar geometry, finding a compromise between disorder and determinism, though some, like the hexagonal snowflake or the stones of theDevil's Causeway fall into a rigidly ordered structure. Branching networks are found at every level in biology - from the single cell to the ecosystem. Human-made networks too can come to share the same features, and if they don't, then it might be profitable to make them do so: nature's patternstend to arise from economical solutions.

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As part of a trilogy of books exploring the science of patterns in nature, acclaimed science writer Philip Ball here looks at the form and growth of branching networks in the natural world, and what we can learn from them.Many patterns in nature show a branching form - trees, river deltas, blood vessels, lightning, the cracks that form...

Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he previously worked as an editor for physical sciences. He is a regular commentator in the scientific and popular media on science and its interactions with art, history and culture. His ten books on scientific subjects include The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.68 inPublished:June 26, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199604886

ISBN - 13:9780199604883

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Table of Contents

1. A Winter's Tale: The Six-Pointed Snowflake2. Tenuous Monsters: Shapes Between Dimensions3. Just For the Crack: Clean Breaks and Ragged Ruptures4. Water Ways: Labyrinths in the Landscape5. Tree and Leaf: Branches in Biology6. Web Worlds: Why We're All in This Together7. The Threads of the Tapestry: Principles of PatternBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Branches is a slim tome, generously illustrated with photographs, charts and mathematical models." --Financial Times, 12/09/2009