- Stephan Matthiesen
Ten evenings about the mechanisms of pattern formation in Nature form this evening class which is held again from January to March 2009 as part of the open studies programme at The University of Edinburgh. When the course was held in spring 2008 for the first time, it was fully booked.
Why do trees look like trees and snowflakes like snowflakes? How do termites build elaborate structures without supervision? What can boiling porridge tell us about clouds? This fully illustrated course explains how patterns in nature can form through self-organisation, using examples and methods from a variety of scientific disciplines. Suitable for anyone who’s ever wondered about the astonishing complexity of nature, you’ll never look at the world in quite the same way again.
- Tutor: Stephan Matthiesen
- Mondays from 12 January 2009 (10 Classes) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
- Fleming Room, 12 Buccleuch Place, at the Office for Lifelong Learning, The University of Edinburgh
- Course fee: £75.00/£50.00 conc. - please enrol at the Office for Lifelong Learning
- Course code: S214 - Course details - Information sheet
12 Jan 2009: Introduction
A tour through patterns in nature, outlining and structuring the topic, and brainstorming: which patterns have students observed in nature?
19 Jan. 2009: Waves and oscillations
We look at waves in the ocean, the atmosphere (cloud patterns!) etc., and why our heart beats.
Regularity and chaos
Using examples like population cycles or climate fluctuations, we introduce concepts like the logistic equation, bifurcations and attractors.
How fish swarms communicate and how social insects cooperate.
Cracks in mud, paint, soil patterns in Arctic soils, and similar topics.
Aggregation and growth processes
Crystals, snowflakes, lichen, and the shells of snails.
Recap of some of the earlier topics and how they can be modelled/described by simple discrete models.
Leaves, trees, river systems and other fractal systems.
(Human) perception of randomness and patterns.
- Zuletzt aktualisiert: Sonntag, 02. November 2008