Nature's patterns: a tapestry in three parts
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? As Philip Ball reveals in Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts, this order creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Indeed, scientists have found that there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature, whether living or non-living, so that from a few simple themes, and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise.
The second volume in this trilogy of books on patterns in nature, Flow explores the elusive rules that govern the science of chaotic behavior. From the swirl of a wisp of smoke to the huge persistent storm system that is the Great Spot on Jupiter, Ball explains the mechanisms at play whenever things flow, and how these give rise to many of the patterns we recognize in Nature--from ripples on a beach to swirling galaxies. The book describes fascinating phenomena such as turbulence, which still defies complete scientific understanding; the principles of symmetry-breaking; and how chaotic behavior emerges in systems. It also looks at how patterns of flow have captivated philosophers and artists for centuries, from Leonardo da Vinci to the movement of Art Nouveau.
Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature. He is a regular commentator in the scientific and popular media on science and its interactions with art, history and culture. His books include H2O: A Biography of Water, The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science and Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another, which won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. He was awarded the 2006 James T. Grady-James H. Stack award by the American Chemical Society for interpreting chemistry for the public.
1. The Man Who Loved Fluids: Leonardo's Legacy
2. Patterns Downstream: Ordered Flows
3. On a Roll: How Convection Shapes the World
4. Riddle of the Dunes: When Grains Get Together
5. Follow Your Neighbour: Flocks, Swarms and Crowds
6. Into the Maelstrom: The Trouble With Turbulence
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
On a Roll
Riddle of the Dunes
3 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
angle of repose ants appear army ants atmosphere avalanches Bagnold barchan barchan dunes beads become behaviour bottom centre circulating colleagues collisions computer model convection cells convection pattems Couzin crowd D’Arcy D’Arcy Thompson dense density desert direction dunes Earth’s eddies experiments Ferrel cell ﬁeld ﬁnd ﬁne ﬁres ﬁrst ﬁsh ﬂocks flow ﬂow pattem ﬂuctuations fluid ﬂuid dynamics ﬂuid ﬂow goveming grains granular Hadley cell happen Harry Swinney Helbing hexagonal individuals inﬂuence instability Jupiter’s Kelvin-Helmholtz instability landslides layer Leonardo liquid mantle mantle convection motion move nature Navier-Stokes equations oscillons particles pattems patterns Photo physicist plates random Rayleigh number Rayleigh-Bénard convection Red Spot researchers Reynolds number rise roll cells rotation saltation sand pile scale seen segregation self-organized criticality shapes shear simply simulations speciﬁc speed splash streamlines stripes structure surface Swinney temperature trafﬁc trails turbulent ﬂow University velocity Vicsek viscous vortices waves wavy wind