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Shapes

Shapes Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780199604869
Release 2011-05-26
Pages 312
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"Nature's patterns is a trilogy composed of Shapes, Flow, and Branches."



Branches

Branches Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780191579837
Release 2009-09-10
Pages 240
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As part of a trilogy of books exploring the science of patterns in nature, acclaimed science writer Philip Ball here looks at the form and growth of branching networks in the natural world, and what we can learn from them. Many patterns in nature show a branching form - trees, river deltas, blood vessels, lightning, the cracks that form in the glazing of pots. These networks share a peculiar geometry, finding a compromise between disorder and determinism, though some, like the hexagonal snowflake or the stones of the Devil's Causeway fall into a rigidly ordered structure. Branching networks are found at every level in biology - from the single cell to the ecosystem. Human-made networks too can come to share the same features, and if they don't, then it might be profitable to make them do so: nature's patterns tend to arise from economical solutions.



Flow

Flow Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780199604876
Release 2011-05-26
Pages 208
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Philip Ball explores the elusive rules that govern flow in nature - from the swirl of a wisp of smoke and eddies in rivers, to the huge persistent storm that is the Great Spot on Jupiter. Whether the movement of wind, water, sand, or flocks of birds, he explains the science of the extraordinary forms and patterns that emerge.



The Self made Tapestry

The Self made Tapestry Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 0198502435
Release 1999
Pages 287
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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 weavesits 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.



Curiosity

Curiosity Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780226045825
Release 2013-04-03
Pages 480
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With the recent landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, it seems safe to assume that the idea of being curious is alive and well in modern science—that it’s not merely encouraged but is seen as an essential component of the scientific mission. Yet there was a time when curiosity was condemned. Neither Pandora nor Eve could resist the dangerous allure of unanswered questions, and all knowledge wasn’t equal—for millennia it was believed that there were some things we should not try to know. In the late sixteenth century this attitude began to change dramatically, and in Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Philip Ball investigates how curiosity first became sanctioned—when it changed from a vice to a virtue and how it became permissible to ask any and every question about the world. Looking closely at the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Ball vividly brings to life the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. In this entertaining and illuminating account of the rise of science as we know it, Ball tells of scientists both legendary and lesser known, from Copernicus and Kepler to Robert Boyle, as well as the inventions and technologies that were inspired by curiosity itself, such as the telescope and the microscope. The so-called Scientific Revolution is often told as a story of great geniuses illuminating the world with flashes of inspiration. But Curiosity reveals a more complex story, in which the liberation—and subsequent taming—of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade, and empire. Ball also asks what has become of curiosity today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged for consumption, how well it is being sustained, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may continue to ask. Though proverbial wisdom tell us that it was through curiosity that our innocence was lost, that has not deterred us. Instead, it has been completely the contrary: today we spend vast sums trying to reconstruct the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of a pure desire to know. Ball refuses to let us take this desire for granted, and this book is a perfect homage to such an inquisitive attitude.



Patterns in Nature

Patterns in Nature Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780226332567
Release 2016-04-05
Pages 288
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Though at first glance the natural world may appear overwhelming in its diversity and complexity, there are regularities running through it, from the hexagons of a honeycomb to the spirals of a seashell and the branching veins of a leaf. Revealing the order at the foundation of the seemingly chaotic natural world, Patterns in Nature explores not only the math and science but also the beauty and artistry behind nature’s awe-inspiring designs. Unlike the patterns we create in technology, architecture, and art, natural patterns are formed spontaneously from the forces that act in the physical world. Very often the same types of pattern and form – spirals, stripes, branches, and fractals, say—recur in places that seem to have nothing in common, as when the markings of a zebra mimic the ripples in windblown sand. That’s because, as Patterns in Nature shows, at the most basic level these patterns can often be described using the same mathematical and physical principles: there is a surprising underlying unity in the kaleidoscope of the natural world. Richly illustrated with 250 color photographs and anchored by accessible and insightful chapters by esteemed science writer Philip Ball, Patterns in Nature reveals the organization at work in vast and ancient forests, powerful rivers, massing clouds, and coastlines carved out by the sea. By exploring similarities such as those between a snail shell and the swirling stars of a galaxy, or the branches of a tree and those of a river network, this spectacular visual tour conveys the wonder, beauty, and richness of natural pattern formation.



A Mathematical Nature Walk

A Mathematical Nature Walk Author John A. Adam
ISBN-10 9781400832903
Release 2011-09-12
Pages 264
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How heavy is that cloud? Why can you see farther in rain than in fog? Why are the droplets on that spider web spaced apart so evenly? If you have ever asked questions like these while outdoors, and wondered how you might figure out the answers, this is a book for you. An entertaining and informative collection of fascinating puzzles from the natural world around us, A Mathematical Nature Walk will delight anyone who loves nature or math or both. John Adam presents ninety-six questions about many common natural phenomena--and a few uncommon ones--and then shows how to answer them using mostly basic mathematics. Can you weigh a pumpkin just by carefully looking at it? Why can you see farther in rain than in fog? What causes the variations in the colors of butterfly wings, bird feathers, and oil slicks? And why are large haystacks prone to spontaneous combustion? These are just a few of the questions you'll find inside. Many of the problems are illustrated with photos and drawings, and the book also has answers, a glossary of terms, and a list of some of the patterns found in nature. About a quarter of the questions can be answered with arithmetic, and many of the rest require only precalculus. But regardless of math background, readers will learn from the informal descriptions of the problems and gain a new appreciation of the beauty of nature and the mathematics that lies behind it.



Nature s patterns

Nature s patterns Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 0199237972
Release 2009-08-03
Pages 190
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"Nature's patterns is a trilogy composed of Shapes, Flow, and Branches."



Structure in Nature Is a Strategy for Design

Structure in Nature Is a Strategy for Design Author Peter Pearce
ISBN-10 0262660458
Release 1990
Pages 245
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The structural designs that occur in nature—in molecules, in crystals, in living cells, in galaxies—is the proper source of inspiration, Peter Pearce affirms, for the design of man-made structures. Nature at all levels builds responsive and adaptive strategies that conserve material and energy resources through the use of modular components combined with least-energy structural strategies. This book—itself designed with graphic modularity and richly illustrated with examples of forms created by nature and by man, including some remarkable and surprising architectural structures developed by the author—leads the designer in this "natural" direction, beyond the familiar limitations of the right angle and the cube and into a richer world of forms based on the triangle, the hexagon, and general polyhedra, as well as saddle polyhedra spanned by minimal continuous surfaces. The author writes that "Systems can be envisaged which consist of some minimum inventory of component types which can be alternatively combined to yield a great diversity of efficient structural form. We call these minimum inventory/maximum diversity systems. "By such a 'system' I mean a minimized inventory of component types (a kit of parts) along with rubrics whereby the components may be combined.... The snowflake is the most graphic example in nature of the minimum inventory/maximum diversity principle. In fact, it may be considered an archetype of physicogeometric expression. All planar snow crystals are found to have star-like forms with six corners (or subsets thereof).... However, within this six-fold form, no two snowflakes have ever been known to be exactly alike.... "An integral part of the concept of minimum inventory/maximum diversity systems is the principle of conservation of resources. The formative processes in natural structure are characteristically governed by least-energy responses. Perhaps the simplest expression of this is found in the principle of closest packing, a principle which even in its most elementary form is common in both the animate and inanimate worlds." Pearce's work follows in the tradition established by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson and Konrad Wachsmann, and reflects his earlier close working association with Charles Eames and Buckminster Fuller. With Eames, he contributed to the design of seating and other furniture systems, and he edited the preliminary text of Fuller's Synergetics, that grand summary of his thoughts, and prepared the illustrations for the published version of that book. Many of the ideas explored in this book have already undergone "reduction to practice" in the firm Pearce founded, Synestructics, Inc. Its initial products have been kits and kites, and a ministructure large enough for kids to crawl through, the "Curved Space Labyrinth," a saddle polyhedra system made of transparent plastic. Adult-sized structures, and indeed megastructures, based on these principles can be realized as soon as entrepreneurs emerge whose vision is commensurate with that of Peter Pearce.



What Shape is a Snowflake

What Shape is a Snowflake Author Ian Stewart
ISBN-10 0297607235
Release 2001
Pages 224
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An enlightening vision of how the laws of mathematics find organic expression in the beauty and patterns of nature, written by an acclaimed mathematician and science writer.



Structural Intuitions

Structural Intuitions Author Martin Kemp
ISBN-10 9780813936994
Release 2016-03-08
Pages 256
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"All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge," wrote Albert Einstein. In Structural Intuitions, a fascinating exploration of the commonalities between two seemingly disparate realms, renowned art historian Martin Kemp applies Einstein's notion both to science and to art. Kemp argues that in both fields, work begins at the intuitive level, curiosity aroused by our recognition of patterns or order. Kemp's "structural intuitions," then, are the ways we engage fundamental perceptual and cognitive mechanisms to bring order to our observed world. Through stimulating juxtaposition, Kemp considers connections between naturally occurring patterns, cognitive processes, and artistic and scientific expression, drawing on an array of examples from the Renaissance through the present. Taking a broadly historical approach, Kemp examines forms and processes such as the geometry of Platonic solids, the dynamics of growth, and the patterns of fluids in motion, while placing the work of contemporary artists, engineers, and scientists in dialogue with that of visionaries such as Leonardo da Vinci and D'Arcy Thompson. Richly illustrated, lucidly written, and wonderfully thought-provoking, Structural Intuitions is essential reading for anyone seeking insight into common ground in the arts and sciences.



Bees Snails Peacock Tails

Bees  Snails    Peacock Tails Author Betsy Franco
ISBN-10 1416903860
Release 2008-08-26
Pages 40
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Come explore the hidden shapes and patterns in nature. The peacock's flashy tail is a masterpiece of color and shape. A buzzing beehive is built of tiny hexagons. Even a snake's skin is patterned with diamonds. Poet Betsy Franco and Caldecott Honor winner Steve Jenkins bring geometry to life in this lively, lyrical look at the shapes and patterns that can be found in the most unexpected places.



Made to Measure

Made to Measure Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 0691009759
Release 1999
Pages 458
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This text describes how scientists are inventing thousands of materials, ranging from synthetic skin, blood and bone, to substances that repair themselves and adapt to their environment. It outlines how newly-invented materials will transform our lives in the 21st century.



Serving the Reich

Serving the Reich Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780226204574
Release 2014-10-20
Pages 303
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After World War II, most scientists in Germany maintained that they had been apolitical or actively resisted the Nazi regime, but the true story is much more complicated. In Serving the Reich, Philip Ball takes a fresh look at that controversial history, contrasting the career of Peter Debye, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, with those of two other leading physicists in Germany during the Third Reich: Max Planck, the elder statesman of physics after whom Germany’s premier scientific society is now named, and Werner Heisenberg, who succeeded Debye as director of the institute when it became focused on the development of nuclear power and weapons. Mixing history, science, and biography, Ball’s gripping exploration of the lives of scientists under Nazism offers a powerful portrait of moral choice and personal responsibility, as scientists navigated “the grey zone between complicity and resistance.” Ball’s account of the different choices these three men and their colleagues made shows how there can be no clear-cut answers or judgement of their conduct. Yet, despite these ambiguities, Ball makes it undeniable that the German scientific establishment as a whole mounted no serious resistance to the Nazis, and in many ways acted as a willing instrument of the state. Serving the Reich considers what this problematic history can tell us about the relationship of science and politics today. Ultimately, Ball argues, a determination to present science as an abstract inquiry into nature that is “above politics” can leave science and scientists dangerously compromised and vulnerable to political manipulation.



Design in Nature

Design in Nature Author Adrian Bejan
ISBN-10 9780307744340
Release 2013-01-08
Pages 296
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Reveals how recurring patterns in nature are accounted for by a single governing principle of physics, explaining how all designs in the world from biological life to inanimate systems evolve in a sequence of ever-improving designs that facilitate flow.



Design by Nature

Design by Nature Author Maggie Macnab
ISBN-10 9780132622417
Release 2011-09-22
Pages 312
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In Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design, author Maggie Macnab takes you on an intimate and eclectic journey examining the unending versatility of nature, showing how to uncover nature’s ingenuity and use it to create beautiful and compelling designed communications. Written for designers and creative thinkers of all types, this book will guide you through a series of unexpected a-ha! moments that describe relationships among nature, art, science, technology, and design. Through explanation and example, you will learn about natural processes, consisting of everyday patterns and shapes that are often taken for granted, but that can be used effectively in visual messaging. Explore the principles all human beings intuitively use to understand the world and learn to incorporate nature’s patterns and shapes into your work for more meaningful design. By recognizing and appreciating a broad range of relationships, you can create more aesthetic and effective design, building communications that encompass the universal experience of being part of nature, and that are relevant to a worldwide audience. Teaches how to understand and integrate the essential processes of nature’s patterns and shapes in design Includes key concepts, learning objectives, definitions, and exercises to help you put what you learn into practice Features a foreword by Debbie Millman and reviews and discussions of practice and process by some of the world’s leading designers, including Milton Glaser, Stefan Sagmeister, and Ellen Lupton Includes profiles of street artist Banksy, creative director and author Kenya Hara, and typographical designer Erik Spiekermann



A Beginner s Guide to Constructing the Universe

A Beginner s Guide to Constructing the Universe Author Michael S. Schneider
ISBN-10 9780062043160
Release 2014-04-01
Pages 384
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The Universe May Be a Mystery, But It's No Secret Michael Schneider leads us on a spectacular, lavishly illustrated journey along the numbers one through ten to explore the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, expressed in the symbolic language of folk sayings and fairy tales, myth and religion, art and architecture. This is a new view of mathematics, not the one we learned at school but a comprehensive guide to the patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing, the Universe shows you: Why cans, pizza, and manhole covers are round. Why one and two weren't considered numbers by the ancient Greeks. Why squares show up so often in goddess art and board games. What property makes the spiral the most widespread shape in nature, from embryos and hair curls to hurricanes and galaxies. How the human body shares the design of a bean plant and the solar system. How a snowflake is like Stonehenge, and a beehive like a calendar. How our ten fingers hold the secrets of both a lobster and a cathedral. And much more.