The Virtual Laboratory

The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants

Authors: Prusinkiewicz, Przemyslaw, Lindenmayer, Aristid

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About this book

The beauty of plants has attracted the attention of mathematicians for Mathematics centuries. Conspicuous geometric features such as the bilateral sym­ and beauty metry of leaves, the rotational symmetry of flowers, and the helical arrangements of scales in pine cones have been studied most exten­ sively. This focus is reflected in a quotation from Weyl [159, page 3], "Beauty is bound up with symmetry. " This book explores two other factors that organize plant structures and therefore contribute to their beauty. The first is the elegance and relative simplicity of developmental algorithms, that is, the rules which describe plant development in time. The second is self-similarity, char­ acterized by Mandelbrot [95, page 34] as follows: When each piece of a shape is geometrically similar to the whole, both the shape and the cascade that generate it are called self-similar. This corresponds with the biological phenomenon described by Herman, Lindenmayer and Rozenberg [61]: In many growth processes of living organisms, especially of plants, regularly repeated appearances of certain multicel­ lular structures are readily noticeable. . . . In the case of a compound leaf, for instance, some of the lobes (or leaflets), which are parts of a leaf at an advanced stage, have the same shape as the whole leaf has at an earlier stage. Thus, self-similarity in plants is a result of developmental processes. Growth and By emphasizing the relationship between growth and form, this book form follows a long tradition in biology.

Reviews

"This marvelous book will occupy an important place in the scientific literature." --Prof. Heinz-Otto Peitgen, author of The Beauty of Fractals "...will perform a valuable service by popularizing this enlightening and bewitching form of mathematics." --Steven Levy "...full of delights and an excellent introduction to L-systems" --Alvy Ray Smith, IEEE Graphics and its Applications

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Buy this book

eBook $69.95 net
( price for USA )
  • ISBN 978-1-4613-8476-2
  • digitally watermarked, no DRM
  • included format: PDF
  • eBooks can be used on all Reading Devices
Softcover $99.00 net
( price for USA )
  • ISBN 978-0-387-94676-4
  • free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants
Series Title
The Virtual Laboratory
Copyright
1990
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4613-8476-2
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4613-8476-2
Softcover ISBN
978-0-387-94676-4
Series ISSN
1431-939X
Edition Number
1
Topics