Path Curves and Plant Buds: An Introduction to the Work of Lawrence Edwards

Almon, C. (1979). Path Curves and Plant Buds: An Introduction to the Work of Lawrence Edwards. IIASA Professional Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: PP-79-005

[thumbnail of PP-79-005.pdf]

Download (934kB) | Preview


To discover in the world of nature the geometrical forms of our own thinking is one of Man's most exciting experiences. A child delights in the hexagonal symmetry of a snow flake, and Kepler and thousands after him have joyed In the beauty of the laws of planetary motion. These experiences stir us, for they reveal that behind material nature there is a creative world in which we can participate through our thinking.

Such experiences are even more moving when they come from the world of living forms. The work of Lawrence Edwards on plant buds offers the finest example known to me. In over four-fifths of the species he has examined, the bud profiles are fit extremely closely by a family of curves known as path curves, for they are the paths taken by points under repeated application of a projective transformation of three-dimensional space.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Professional Paper)
Research Programs: System and Decision Sciences - Core (SDS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:47
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item