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"A new book from Philip Ball is always an eagerly anticipated event." John Gribbin - Literary Review



The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in NatureWhy do similar patterns and forms appear in settings that seem to bear no relation to one another? The windblown ripples of desert sand follow a sinuous course that resembles the stripes of a zebra or a marine fish. We see the same architectural angles in the trellis-like shells of microscopic sea creatures as in the bubble walls of a foam. The forks of lightning mirror the branches of a river or a tree.

This book explains why there is more than coincidence in this conjunction of forms and structures. Nature commonly weaves its tapestry by self-organization, employing no master plan or blueprint but instead simple, local interactions between its component parts - whether they be grains of sand, diffusing molecules or living cells. And the products of self-organization are typically universal patterns: spirals, spots, stripes, branches, honeycombs.

Oxford University Press Hard Back 295 pages (1998) ISBN 0-19-850244-3 Dimensions 0.98 x 9.90 x 7.66 inches

In non-technical language and with profuse illustrations, The Self-Made Tapestry tells how nature's patterns are made.

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A complete rewrite and update of this book has now been published under the title ‘Nature’s Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts'.

 



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