The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature by Philip BallThe Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature by Philip Ball

The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature

byPhilip Ball

Paperback | July 1, 2001

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Why do similar patterns and forms appear in nature in settings that seem to bear no relation to one another? The windblown ripples of desert sand follow a sinuous course that resemles the stripes of a zebra or a marine fish. In the trellis-like shells of microscopic sea creatures we see thesame angles and intersections as for bubble walls in a foam. The forks of lightning mirror the branches of a river or a tree. l This book explains why these are no coincidences. Nature commonly weaves its tapestry by self-organization, employing no master plan or blueprint but by simple, localinteractions between its component parts - be they grains of sand, diffusing molecules or living cells - give rise to spontaneous patters that are at the same time complex and beautiful. Many of these patterns are universal: spirals, spots, and stripes, branches, honeycombs. Philip Ball conducts aprofusely illustrated tour of this gallery, and reveals the secrets of how nature's patterns are made.

About The Author

Philip Ball has been an editor at Nature since 1988, and has written many scientific articles on all topics for the popular press. His first book Designing the Molecular World won the American Association of Publishers award for books on chemistry. All four of Ball's books rate 4 or 5 stars on Amazon.com.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in NatureFormat:PaperbackPublished:July 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198502435

ISBN - 13:9780198502432

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Table of Contents

ForewardPreface1. Patterns2. Bubbles3. Waves4. Bodies5. Branches6. Breakdowns7. Fluids8. Grains9. Communities10. PrinciplesAppendicesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`very beautifully illustrated'Fortean Times April 2002