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Patterns in Nature: Why the Natural World Looks the Way it Does Hardcover – 7 April 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 48 ratings

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Review

"Acclaimed English science writer Ball curates a visually striking, riotously colorful photographic display of the most dramatic examples of the 'sheer splendor' of physical patterns in the natural world. He lightly ties the work together with snippets of scientific history, using bits of physics, chemistry, and mathematics to show that although patterns in living beings can offer clear, functional evolutionary advantages, the small set of design elements that we can see--symmetries, branching fractals, spirals, flowing swirls, spots, and stripes--come from a basic set of organizing properties of growth and equilibrium seeking. . . . This is formidable eye candy for the I-love-science crowd, sure to spark a sense of impressed wonder at the beauty of our universe and our ability to photograph it."
-- "Publishers Weekly"

"From tigers' stripes to the hexagons that make up honeycombs to the ripples in windblown sand, the natural world is full of order and regularity. Science writer Ball investigates the phenomenon in his new book, Patterns in Nature, with 250 photographs of snowflakes, shells, and more. Nature's patterns follow basic principles of mathematics and physics, leading to similarities in the stripes, spirals, branches and fractals around us. 'There's an abundance of detail in nature that we can't see," he says. "Even in what seems unstructured, there's pattern.'"
-- "Wall Street Journal"

"The most beautiful book of 2016."-- "Publishers Weekly"

"This captivating book is a collection of stunning photographs that capture frequently repeating mathematical patterns in nature. These images depict patterns in living things, from pollen to animals, and in non-living things, from lightning to landscapes. Images are accompanied by brief, but clear, explanations for how these patterns can be generated by Fibonacci ratios, suggesting they result from simple self-organization. Excellent coffee table companion to the author's earlier Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts series, which describe in detail how physics and chemistry influence and interweave with evolution (biology) to create patterns and symmetry in nature. This book is a visual feast that can serve as a source of wonder and inspiration for artists and naturalists as well as scientists."
-- "Forbes"

"This cofee-table book showcases the spots, stripes, spirals, and fractals and other intricate patterns found in the natural world."-- "Live Science"

About the Author

A renowned science writer, Philip Ball lives in London. He worked for over twenty years as an editor for Nature, writes regularly in the scientific and popular media, and has authored many books on the interactions of the sciences, the arts, and the wider culture. His most recent books include Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen and Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
48 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 November 2018
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Top international reviews

Abhishek Gwaskoti
5.0 out of 5 stars Answered my curiousness towards patterns in nature.
Reviewed in India on 15 May 2018
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shizu
4.0 out of 5 stars 私も自然の一部としてみておきたいものたち
Reviewed in Japan on 12 September 2016
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Gary M. Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Great View of Natural Patterns
Reviewed in the United States on 14 June 2016
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5 people found this helpful
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dadathome
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational design ideas
Reviewed in the United States on 16 February 2019
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svampfru
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United States on 18 January 2018
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Francetta Glowinski
5.0 out of 5 stars I have been waiting for a book like this.
Reviewed in the United States on 15 January 2017
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JPMorgan
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read
Reviewed in the United States on 22 March 2019
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Dianne May
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Reviewed in the United States on 2 September 2017
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Cbewtra
4.0 out of 5 stars superb photographs
Reviewed in the United States on 7 July 2019
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Care Life
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and informative
Reviewed in the United States on 18 July 2017
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Mario
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on 27 April 2017
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JCK
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful special gift
Reviewed in the United States on 18 October 2016
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Danny D
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this one.
Reviewed in the United States on 31 May 2016
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Hildegarde
5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite
Reviewed in the United States on 24 February 2017
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Brian Mc Gonagle
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Marriage of Text and Images.
Reviewed in the United States on 21 June 2016
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