Patterns in Nature – The most magnificent designs come from math and nature, not human beings / Boing Boing. See sample pages from this book at Wink.
Step outside, look in any direction, and you’re sure to spot some exquisite designs in nature: the vivid jewel-like symmetry found on the wings of a butterfly, the fractal branching of trees, the pointillist patterns sported by a snake, or the hexagonal nest of a wasp, just to name a few. And science writer Philip Ball has captured some of this beauty with over 300 stunning photographs that he includes in his latest book, Patterns in Nature. Categorized in chapters such as Symmetry, Fractals, Spirals, Cracks, and Flow and Chaos, Ball explains with both images and an accessible narrative how the most magnificent designs on the planet come from math, physics and chemistry, not human beings. He describes the various mathematics that create various patterns, and also points out parallels between similar patterns with seemingly unrelated sources.
How the zebra got its stripes, with Alan Turing. In 1952 a mathematician published a set of equations that tried to explain the patterns we see in nature, from the dappled stripes adorning the back of a zebra to the whorled leaves on a plant stem, or even the complex tucking and folding that turns a ball of cells into an organism.
His name was Alan Turing. More famous for cracking the wartime Enigma code and his contributions to mathematics, computer science and artificial intelligence, it may come as a surprise that Turing harbored such an interest. How Physics Gives Structure to Nature. How do bees do it?
The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted from the horizontal to prevent the viscous honey from running out, and the entire comb is aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. Yet this structure is made without any blueprint or foresight, by many bees working simultaneously and somehow coordinating their efforts to avoid mismatched cells. The ancient Greek philosopher Pappus of Alexandria thought that the bees must be endowed with “a certain geometrical forethought.”
And who could have given them this wisdom, but God? Why hexagons, though? Darwin thought that natural selection had endowed bees with instincts for making these wax chambers, which had the advantage of requiring less energy and time than those with other shapes. A Bridge Made From Paper Connects Mountain And Babbling Brook – iGNANT.de. Environmental artist Steve Messam and paper company Cropper James collaborated to weave nature with creativity for their bright red temporary installation ‘PaperBridge’.
“It stands up in the same way a stone bridge does. Paper is a really dense material […] it actually gets stronger when it rains.”This unique artwork, made especially for the landscape of northern England’s Lake District, was commissioned by Lakes Culture for Lakes Ignites. The one-dimensional rural beauty of the picturesque National Park is visually interrupted by thousands of paper layers, assembling a bridge.
Countering the assumption that paper is unstable, Messam states: “It stands up in the same way a stone bridge does. Paper is a really dense material. ‘Golden Ratio Coloring Book’ Highlights The Hidden Mathematical Beauty In Nature. Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo has been captivated by Phi and the Golden Ration since he first observed the intelligent patterns in nature when he was a teenager.
His illustrations capture the perfect rendering of the golden ratio and the mathematical brilliance of nature with just a pencil, compass, ruler and protractor. His latest project is a collaboration with Syney-based Melinda and Andres Restrepo who have produced a Golden Ratio coloring book that features Araujo’s work, including his signature style of leaving his construction lines intact to highlight the geometric formulas and natural mathematical framework.
Echo Observatory: beautiful, tactile fractal explorer with knobs on. Love Hulten writes, "The Echo Observatory is a handcrafted tribute to fractals and self-similar patterns. It's a mysterious artifact that both generates and visualizes complex mathematical formations, in real-time. " Sturdy adjustable kickstand for phones and tablets I wanted a stand for my iPhone 6 Plus, and after looking around, I took a chance on this $5 TaoTronics adjustable kickstand. I wasn’t disappointed. Form Constants of Optical Mineralogy. Sunday, 26 July 2015 Chromatic Polarisation of Light (German, unknown)  The Virtual Museum of the History of Mineralogy contains a large collection of scans from monographs on crystallography and mineralogy, arranged by author in alphabetical order, from 1450 to 1912.
The chromolithographs of optical interference figures, mostly from the 19th century record the passage of light through crystal lattices to reveal a corresponding geometric figure. Visualising the interference and chromatic polarisation of light during short mineral detours allowed mineralogists to decrypt the chemical constitution and locate the geological origin of each wafer-thin sample; photons moving at light speed were coaxed into perusing time-spans of billions of years. Plate from Mineralogia Generale – Luigi Bombicci Porta  It was David Brewster, ‘the father of modern experimental optics’, who founded the science of optical mineralogy and first annotated these patterns.