Reviews: THE SELF-MADE TAPESTRY: Pattern Formation in Nature

The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature

“Philip Ball has produced a superb book about patterns in nature. From the ribbed desert sands to tree-form streaks of lightning, countless examples give rise to fascinating reflections on the astounding order that exists amid chaos. Lavishly illustrated, this is a stunning book.”  John Cornwell, The Times

“You will find no better guide than Ball. His book is a scrupulous, unusually clear presentation of research whose modest form disguises the immense industry, intelligence and skill that have gone into its making.” Evan Eisenberg, Natural History

“Philip Ball writes with a balance, thoroughness and simplicity that I found remarkable. Ball’s approach is to write carefully, be sceptical and non-polemical about data and their interpretation, and give credit to heterodox views where credit is due.” Edward Cox, Nature

“The Self-Made Tapestry is a brilliant book that will be read, re-read, dissected, analysed, borrowed, lent, discussed, disputed and thoroughly enjoyed by all who read it. Be warned that you should purchase two copies, because the one that you buy as a present will probably do the rounds before it gets back for you to borrow.” William Nawrocki, The Alchemist

“It’s clear that we are beginning to understand how patterns form in nature. Ball’s book is the first to really try to get across that understanding. Since it is also well-written, accurate, and well-illustrated, it is going to be extremely hard to improve upon, and deserves a wide audience for many years to come.” The Bactra Review

“Using an inventive approach, with illustrations and descriptions that convey beauty and wonder, Ball explains the development and procedures of the research into the supposed unity of pattern formation in nature. One of the pleasures of this book is the artistic and inspiring free style of the author’s explanations, which do not conform to the strict logical and mathematical formalism of scientific papers.” P. Dullemeijer, Science

“Since reading this book, I have looked with renewed interest at the patterns around me. It has brought new life to the froth of my beer, the waves on the rough seas of Dorset’s coast, or even the patterns as I stir a cup of coffee.” Sir Ghillean Prance, Times Higher Education Supplement

“Ball is emerging as one of the best science writers specializing in presenting scientific material to the general, as well as the scientifically literate, public. This book should be available to everyone teaching in the sciences.” Reuben Rudman, Journal of Chemical Education

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Oxford University Press Hard Back 295 pages (1998) ISBN 0-19-850244-3
A complete rewrite and update of this book has now been published under the title ‘Reviews: NATURE’S PATTERNS: A Tapestry in Three Parts.

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