The Curves of Life: Being an Account of Spiral Formations and Their Application to Growth in Nature, to Science, and to Art : with Special Reference to the Manuscripts of Leonardo Da Vinci

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, Feb 1, 1979 - Mathematics - 479 pages

The open-ended curve of the spiral gives a sensation of continuous motion ? of life, in fact. In The Curves of Life, Sir Theodore A. Cook (1867?1928), English author and editor, finds that the spiral or helix may lie at the core of life's first principle ? that of growth. The spiral is fundamental to the structure of plants, shells, and the human body; to the periodicity of atomic elements and to an animal's horns; to microscopic DNA (the double helix) and to the Andromeda nebula.
The Curves of Life portrays the significance of the spiral in 426 illustrations, from a Narwhal's tusk to D rer's plan for a cylindrical helix. From the spiral in nature, science, and art, the author suggests ideas on the essence of beauty and man's response to it. "One of the chief beauties of the spiral as an imaginative conception is that it is always growing, yet never covering the same ground, so that it is not merely an explanation of the past, but is also a prophecy of the future."
Martin Gardner, mathematician and author, said of The Curves of Life, "This is the classic reference on how the golden ratio applies to spirals and helices in nature."

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rubygarnet - LibraryThing

I have always been fascinated by the ubiquity of spirals, and this book is a splendid treatise thereon. Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER I
1
CHAPTER II
18
Formation of Spirals in ShellsTube coiled round AxisLife
41
CHAPTER IV
57
CHAPTER V
81
SPECIAL PHENOMENA IN CONNECTION WITH SPIRAL PHYLLOTAXIS
94
The Purpose of ClimbingWith and Without TendrilsHand
170
Pairs of HornsOddtoed and Eventoed Hoofed AnimalsThe
190
CHAPTER XIV
239
CHAPTER XVI
296
SPIRALS IN NATURE AND
315
The Staircase designed by Leonardo da VinciVoluta Vesper
341
The Logarithmic Spiral as an Abstract Conception of Perfect
407
The Shell of Travancore P
456
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information