Flow: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts
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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, this volume explores the elusive rules that govern flow - the science of chaotic behavior.
Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With ofﬁces in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York # Philip Ball 2009 The moral rights of the author have been asserted
FLOW to the so-called ocean thermohaline (‘heat-salt’) circulation that regulates the Earth’s climate. As well as elaborating the sky and sea, convection shapes the slow rock of the solid Earth. Our planet is a vast convecting vessel ﬁlled with a ﬂuid that is hotter at the bottom than the top. Yes, it really is a ﬂuid: the rocky mantle between the crust and the core is hot enough to ﬂow like a very sluggish liquid. The planet’s molten core creates temperature of almost 4,000 8C at the mantle’s
of exotic solids that is so recondite I do not even propose to describe it. What they came to realize is that the behaviour of the electrons in these materials can be represented by the behaviour of sand grains in a pile. That is not to say that the electrons themselves form a pile, or anything of the kind. It is a little like the way one can model oscillating chemical reactions by thinking of foxes eating hares, as I described in Book I: the equations describing both behaviours look the same.
patterns (ordered arrays of ‘cells’ with circulating ﬂows) arise above a particular threshold in the strength of the driving force, namely the temperature difference between the cool top and hot bottom of the layer of ﬂuid. If this forcing is very strong, convection becomes turbulent. The switch from regular patterned ﬂow to turbulence is not gradual, but rather abrupt. Yet as we saw on the surface of the Sun, the onset of turbulence does not mean that the ﬂow loses all structure; it’s just that
hysteresis 139 hurricanes 49 Japanese art 13, 20 Jugendstil 12 Jullien, Remi 111, 113 Jupiter, atmosphere of 41–45, 175 Katsuki, Atsunari 89, 90 Kelvin, Lord 35, 45 Kelvin-Helmholtz instability 35–37 Kemp, Martin 5 Kerner, Boris 158 Kessler, Mark 74 Ka´rma´n, Theodore von 31 Ka´rma´n vortex street 30–33, 175 Keltsch, Joachim 151 keratocytes 135 klinotaxis 131 Kolmogorov, Andrei 175–177 Krantz, William 73, 74 Lamb, Horace 164 laminar ﬂow 28, 29, 167, 170 Landau, Lev 166 landslides, see avalanches