We Need Diverse Ya Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Lists | June 22, 2015

    Stephen Jarvis: IMG Robert Seymour — 13 Pictures

    1. Self-Portrait. My new novel, Death and Mr. Pickwick, tells the story of the origins of Charles Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Its... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      Death and Mr. Pickwick

      Stephen Jarvis 9780374139667

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
2 Remote Warehouse Nature Studies- General
1 Remote Warehouse Mathematics- Systems Theory

This title in other editions

Shapes: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts


Shapes: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 living or non-living, scientists have found that there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature, so that from a few simple themes, and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise.

Part of a trilogy of books exploring the science of patterns in nature, acclaimed science writer Philip Ball here looks at how shapes form. From soap bubbles to honeycombs, delicate shell patterns, and even the developing body parts of a complex animal like ourselves, he uncovers patterns in growth and form in all corners of the natural world, explains how these patterns are self-made, and why similar shapes and structures may be found in very different settings, orchestrated by nothing more than simple physical forces. This book will make you look at the world with fresh eyes, seeing order and form even in the places you'd least expect.

About the Author

Philip Ball is a freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature, where he previously worked as an editor for physical sciences. He is a regular commentator in the scientific and popular media on science and its interactions with art, history and culture. His ten books on scientific subjects include The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature, H2O: A Biography of Water, The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science, and Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another, which won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. He was awarded the 2006 James T. Grady - James H. Stack award by the American Chemical Society for interpreting chemistry for the public. Philip studied chemistry at Oxford and holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Bristol. His latest book The Music Instinct published in February 2010.

Table of Contents

1. The Shapes of Things: Pattern and Form

2. Lessons of the Beehive: Building with Bubbles

3. Making Waves: Stripes in a Test Tube

4. Written on the Body: Hiding, Warning and Mimicking

5. Rhythms of the Wild: Crystal Communities

6. How Does Your Garden Grow?: The Mathematics of a Daisy

7. Unfolding the Embryo: The Formation of Body Plans


Product Details

Ball, Philip
Oxford University Press, USA
null, Philip
General Nature
Life sciences
Mathematics-Systems Theory
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
220 b/w illus., 8pp color plate section
5.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 in 0.8 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Emergence: The Connected Lives of... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. The web of life :a new scientific... Used Hardcover $5.50

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Aviation History
History and Social Science » Military » General History
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Systems Theory
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Shapes: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.75 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199604869 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.