The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature

Paperback | July 1, 2001

byPhilip Ball

not yet rated|write a review
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.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$110.50

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

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 wa...

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.

other books by Philip Ball

Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color
Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color

Paperback|Apr 15 2003

$25.70 online$27.50list price(save 6%)
The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Cant Do Without It
The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Cant Do ...

Paperback|May 29 2012

$19.71 online$21.95list price(save 10%)
Why Society is a Complex Matter: Meeting Twenty-first Century Challenges With a New Kind of Science
Why Society is a Complex Matter: Meeting Twenty-first C...

Paperback|Jun 8 2012

$25.72 online$25.95list price
see all books by Philip Ball
Format:PaperbackPublished:July 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198502435

ISBN - 13:9780198502432

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

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

Editorial Reviews

`very beautifully illustrated'Fortean Times April 2002