Philip Ball

Even though the natural world appears to be overwhelming in its richness and complexity at first glance, patterns are running through it, from the hexagons of a honeycomb to the spirals of a seashell and the branching veins of a leaf. Patterns in Nature delves into the mathematics and physics that lie at the heart of the seemingly chaotic natural world, as well as the beauty and artistry that can be found in Nature’s awe-inspiring creations to reveal the order at the heart of the supposedly chaotic natural world.

Instead of being created by humans through technology, architecture, and art, natural patterns are formed spontaneously by the forces that occur in the physical world instead of human-made patterns. It is very frequent for the same types of pattern and form to recur in areas that appear to have nothing in common, such as when the markings of a zebra resemble the ripples in windblown sand. Spirals, stripes, branches, and fractals are examples of patterns and forms. Because, as the book Patterns in Nature demonstrates, these patterns can often be represented using the same mathematical and scientific principles at the most fundamental level. There is an unexpectedly strong sense of unity in the kaleidoscope of the natural world. Patterns in Nature is richly illustrated with more than 250 color photographs and is supported by accessible and insightful chapters written by renowned science writer Philip Ball. It reveals the organization at work in vast and ancient forests, powerful rivers, swarming clouds, and coastlines carved out by the sea, among other places.

This fantastic visual tour portrays the wonder, beauty, and variety of natural pattern formation by examining parallels between, for example, a snail shell and the swirling stars of a galaxy or the branches of a tree and the branches of a river network.