Saturday, April 28, 2012
Shapes: a book review
While on my Easter break, I started reading Philip Ball’s Shapes (the first part of his Nature’s Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts). An endlessly fascinating subject (covered a century ago by D’Arcy Thompson) and discussed well in this nicely illustrated volume. Here are some public domain images related to topics in the book:
And no, “shapes” does not necessarily mean squares, circles, and triangles.
Ball even gives a nice experiment that can be done at home with gelatine, cobalt chloride, and concentrated ammonia (see picture here). Interestingly enough, this phenomenon was first observed in 1855, and is still not fully understood.