To celebrate his 90th birthday, The Mayor Gallery is showing "Les Regles du Jeu" by Francois Morellet. The work pictured was made by marking out four sets of lines each rotated 22.5 degrees from the next. The result is a dynamical feeling of rain falling on water. These highly constrained images are playful and touching and each encourages the viewer to discover the simple relations giving rise to the complexity, asking them maybe, to think like a scientist.
Diatoms are algae, tiny single cell creatures found in pools and ponds and oceans. They are enclosed in a cell wall of silica which are mostly bilaterally symmetric. Though there is a slight asymmetry, so that one side might fit inside the other.
Remarkably they produce dimethyl sulfide which then forms tiny sulfate aerosols which are among the tiny particles that encourage water vapour to condense in our skies and fall as rain. It is a beautiful idea that through this process these tiny creatures call the water that has escaped them back to earth.
Since Victorian times, we've been arranging these tiny creatures. The middle three images are by a person called W M Grant. I am particularly partial to his or her arrangements.
This telescope at the South Pole has found polarisation patterns in the cosmic microwave background which are like those expected to be present due to gravitational waves associated with inflation. Read more here.
The Festival Pattern Group worked with scientists to make new designs inspired by science for the 1951 Festival of Britain.
Twenty-eight manufacturers took part in the Festival of Britain's Festival Pattern Group, which used diagrams of atomic structure to provide design inspiration. 80 designs were produced in all, including glass, ceramics, metal, plastics, textiles and wallpaper.
Stephen W. Morris is a pattern finding scientist in the most vivid sense.
I am particularly taken with these images of Chladni plates (the violin shape at 762.4 Hz and the square at 5,875.5 Hz).
A thin metal plate shaken vertical by a post in the centre will vibrate in a certain mode pattern. The pattern can be made visible by sprinkling white sand or salt on the plate. The grains are shaken off the areas where the plate is moving most violently (the anti-nodes) and collects on the non-moving regions (nodal lines). This technique was originally invented by Robert Hooke, but made famous by Ernst Chladni in the late 18th century.
Violin makers use Chladni Figures to tune boards used to make violins. Here the violin is a sheet of aluminum about 1 meter long.
And I like this quote from Stephen's website:
The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living. Henri Poincaré
Stephen's website http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~smorris/smorris.html
In response, I add the electron probability density for the first few hydrogen atom electron orbitals shown as cross-sections.