Patterns are everywhere in nature – in the ranks of clouds in the sky, the stripes of an angelfish, the arrangement of petals in flowers. Where does this order and regularity come from? It creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Whether in living or non-living systems, there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature. From a few general themes and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise.
This series of three books explores the science of pattern formation in nature. SHAPES looks at the patterning of living organisms, from butterfly wings to leopard skins, body plans and even whole ecosystems. FLOW explains the mechanisms that create ripples in sand, the curling wisps of smoke, and the vortices of hurricanes and galaxies. BRANCHES reveals hidden rules that link forked lightning to cracks and networks of veins and rivers.
Out now (March 2009, June2009, September 2009).