The Self-made Tapestry

The Self-made Tapestry

Pattern Formation in Nature

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
For centuries, scientists have struggled to understand the origins of the patterns and forms found in nature-from the leopards spots to the graceful spirals of a mollusc shell to the complex designs on a butterflys wing. Now, in this lucid and elegantly written book, Philip Ball applies state-of-the-art scientific understanding from the fields of biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and mathematics to these ancient mysteries, revealing how nature's seemingly complex patterns originate in simple physical laws.
Ball traces the history of scientific thought about natural patterns, showing how common presumptions-for example, that complex form must be guided by some intelligence or that form always follows function-are erroneous and continue to mislead scientists today. He investigates specific patterns in depth, revealing that these designs are self-organized and that simple, local interactions between component parts produce motifs like spots, stripes, branches, and honeycombs. In the process, he examines the mysterious phenomenon of symmetry and why it appears-and breaks-in similar ways in different systems. Finally, he attempts to answer this profound question: why are some patterns universal? Illustrations throughout the text, many in full color, beautifully illuminate Ball's ideas.
A fascination with nature,s patterns is as old as civilization. With this spellbinding book, Ball dispels age-old conundrums while increasing the readers wonder and appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. The Self-Made Tapestry will enlighten anyone who has ever marveled at the shape of a seashell or the brilliance of a spider's web.
Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780198502449
0198502443
Branch Call Number: 571.3 BALL P
Characteristics: vi, 287 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at LPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top