| Underlying Patterns
This is a fascination I have had since I was a young child! You have probably noticed similar patterns in very different situations. Why? The pictures at the left are of Miller Creek in Prescott, Arizona and the cloud bands of Jupiter. I believe there are underlying forces at work that create similar patterns in very different settings.
The Quest for Understanding
We may never have all the answers, but I'm very excited to share with you some of my observations.
I have written a book that explores these questions. For more about the book click HERE.
|Patterns 100: Nature is as You Find It, Not as You Want it to Be!|
|That's what my astronomy professor, Marshal Martz, used to say!
He was my teacher and a great inspiration! He was the one who
guided me through my first telescope project - grinding and
polishing a 6" mirror when I was studying at Jamestown Community College in western New York.|
So, what does that saying mean? If we have a theory that explains how nature "should" behave and we find that it doesn't always behave as predicted, what has to change? The theory, of course!
Richard Feynman understood this principle, and when there wasn't a mathematical way to explain it, he made up new mathematics! Hence the Feynman Diagrams and other amazing advancements. Here is a wonderful interview where he suggests that the laws of Physics can change over time. Click HERE to see the interview.
|Patterns 200: Turbulence - From Small to Large|
is a complex phenomenon, and I certainly don't understand all the
factors involved. But I am fascinated by the similarities between
turbulence in a small stream and the turbulence in the cloud bands of
Turbulence from Thumb Butte and Jupiter (pdf)
Turbulence from Thumb Butte to Jupiter (video)
|Clouds over Prescott|
These are timelapse videos of clouds rolling over Prescott. When you speed things up, it's amazing what you see!
Clouds over Prescott 8/10/17 (timelapse video)
Clouds over Prescott 8/12/17 (timelapse video)
Clouds over Prescott 8/19/17 (timelapse video)
This was such a beautiful sunset! I think it's even more dramatic in timelapse!
Clouds at sunset 8/24/17 (timelapse video)
|Patterns 300: Emergent Behavior|
logical, organized behavior spontaneously emerge from random or chaotic
events? Can the behavior of a group be more complex than
that of any single member? If no outside forces are controlling the
interaction, where does this behavior come from? I'm sure you have
heard the saying, "The whole is more than the sum of the parts." What
does that mean?|
Emergence (pdf) ** Stay tuned. I am working on a really interesting article on Emergent Behavior. Should have it "done" in a few days. I say "done" in quotes because I see this one as an ongoing project! **
|Patterns 400: Nature's Geometry|
Fibonacci numbers are easily understood and easily generated, but there seems to be a profound relationship between this sequence and growth in nature
Fibonacci Spirals In Pine cones, Sunflowers and Daisies (pdf)
Mounds are pretty crazy structures. Something has to cause them to be there. Who builds mounds? Well, ants, water and people for a start. Such diverse forces and materials! Why do they always seem to have a similar structure. Ever heard of "Rubble Hill" in Berlin?
Ants and Water (pdf)
Fractals are self similar (maybe not exactly the same, but similar) on different scales. If you look at one branch of the fern at the left you will see that it resembles the whole fern
Fractal Fern (pdf)
Fractal Vines (pdf)
|Things That Are Conical|
You may disagree, but I think the cone is nature's way of conserving energy. Both living and non-living things produce cones. You find them here on earth, on other planets and, I bet, throughout the universe!
Ant Hill to Tyco (pdf)
Ants Build Cone (video)
|Things That Are Spiral|
Spiral implies movement. Otherwise the object would be spherical. Think about it. Here again, from small to large it is a natural structure following certain rules. You will see spiral whirlpool patterns in the smallest streams and in the largest galaxies!
Things That Are Spiral (pdf)
|Things That Are Round|
Round means safety. You can venture out a ways, but don't get too far from the group. In the article below can you see how round means safety and survival? Why do people build cities?
Things That Are Round (pdf)
|Patterns 500: Capture - Processes Stopped In Time|
|Natural Forces Capture Information|
By capturing things in time we get to understand their similarities. An icicle has the exact same form as the dripping sap from a wounded tree. Why? What are the forces involved?
|Where Did They Come from and Where Are They Going? |
Patterns captured in ice are fleeting. Where did they come from? Once the ice melts they will be gone!
Patterns in the Ice (pdf)