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Shell image/ Home button Fundamental Physics in Space
The Story of Our Search
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The Story of our Search
Fundamental Physics
Sensational Symmetry
Big Bang and Beyond
It's About Time
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CHAPTER TWO

SENSATIONAL SYMMETRY
DISCOVERING SHAPES AND PATTERNS

Superfluid As much diversity as there is in the world, it isn't all chaos out there. Shapes and patterns are all around us in Nature, and we use them to identify and characterize the world around us. We compare apples to oranges and fish to fowl. We notice that out of simple forms--a cell, a seed, an egg--come many varieties of life: branching trees, leaping frogs, tiny amoeba and even ourselves. We see spirals in draining bathtubs, in tornado skies, and in spinning galaxies too.

While we can tell the difference between one thing and another, we can't ignore all the unifying patterns that cross boundaries of size, species and states of being. "What's behind them?" we wonder. Can we figure out some of the rules and organizing principles behind these common shapes and patterns that apply to almost everything?

That's what this section is all about--looking at matter and motion, seeking the "recipe" for the way things turn out. You'll be amazed to see the plans that Nature uses over and over for all kinds of wonderful results. Follow this tale, and you'll never look at the world around you in quite the same way.


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