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From the swirl of a wisp of smoke to eddies in rivers, and the huge persistent storm system that is the Great Spot on Jupiter, we see similar forms and patterns wherever there is flow – whether the movement of wind, water, sand, or flocks of birds. It is the complex dynamics of flow that structures our atmosphere, land, and oceans.
Part of a trilogy of books exploring the science of patterns in nature by acclaimed science writer Philip Ball, Flow explores the elusive rules that govern flow – the science of chaotic behaviour.
1: The Man Who Loved Fluids: Leonardo's Legacy
2: Patterns Downstream: Ordered Flows
3: On a Roll: How Convection Shapes the World
4: Riddle of the Dunes: When Grains Get Together
5: Follow Your Neighbour: Flocks, Swarms and Crowds
6: Into the Maelstrom: The Trouble With Turbulence
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.
"there is enough here to make one marvel"
– The Guardian