Shapes: Natures patterns: a tapestry in three parts

Paperback | June 26, 2011

byPhilip Ball

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Patterns are everywhere in nature - in the ranks of clouds in the sky, the stripes of an angelfish, the arrangement of petals in flowers. Where does this order and regularity come from? It creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Whether living or non-living, scientistshave found that there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature, so that from a few simple themes, and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise. Part of a trilogy of books exploring the science of patterns in nature, acclaimed science writer Philip Ball here looks at how shapes form. From soap bubbles to honeycombs, delicate shell patterns, and even the developing body parts of a complex animal like ourselves, he uncovers patterns in growthand form in all corners of the natural world, explains how these patterns are self-made, and why similar shapes and structures may be found in very different settings, orchestrated by nothing more than simple physical forces. This book will make you look at the world with fresh eyes, seeing orderand form even in the places you'd least expect.

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Patterns are everywhere in nature - in the ranks of clouds in the sky, the stripes of an angelfish, the arrangement of petals in flowers. Where does this order and regularity come from? It creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Whether living or non-living, scientistshave found that there is a pattern-forming ...

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:320 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:June 26, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019960486X

ISBN - 13:9780199604869

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Table of Contents

1. The Shapes of Things: Pattern and Form2. Lessons of the Beehive: Building with Bubbles3. Making Waves: Stripes in a Test Tube4. Written on the Body: Hiding, Warning and Mimicking5. Rhythms of the Wild: Crystal Communities6. How Does Your Garden Grow?: The Mathematics of a Daisy7. Unfolding the Embryo: The Formation of Body PlansBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Fascinating detail." --The Economist 07/03/2009