Branches by Philip Ball: a book review

This summer, I finished Philip Ball’s Branches. This is the last volume of his excellent Nature’s Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts, following Shapes and Flow. Branching phenomena are ubiquitous in nature. Apart from trees themselves, we have lightning:

And river systems:

And mineral crystallisation patterns:

Ball does a very nice job of explaining why these (and similar) branching patterns exist, as well as providing a good discussion of network structures. A fun little book, which I heartily recommend.

* * * *
Branches by Philip Ball: 4 stars

Advertisements