Saturday, 20 October 2012

Philip Ball and Patterns of Nature

At the Advances in Architectural Geometry Conference 2012 in Paris, I had the pleasure to watch the keynote lecture by the science writer Philip Ball. He is the author of several popular books on science, including works on the nature of water, pattern formation in the natural world, colour in art, and the science of social and political philosophy. In three of his books Ball explictitly discusses the formation of patterns in nature : "Shapes", "Flow", and "Branches".

A similiar topic has been presented by Ball in February 2012 at the The New York Institute for the Humanities, a transcript of one of his lectures dealing with a similar topic can be found here.

According to Ball, one major reference for pattern formation in nature is the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction. The javascript applet below is a cellular automata inspired by the BZ reaction, with randomized input parameters.

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