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Self-Made Tapestry Pattern Formation in Nature

ISBN-10: 0198502435
ISBN-13: 9780198502432
Edition: 2001
Authors: Philip Ball
List price: $84.00
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $84.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/18/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

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 the same 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, local interactions 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 a profusely illustrated tour of this gallery, and reveals the secrets of how nature's patterns are made.

Patterns
Bubbles
Waves
Bodies
Branches
Breakdowns
Fluids
Grains
Communities
Principles
Appendices
Bibliography
Index

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