• Question: what has been your most interesting piece of nature to study and why?

    Asked by Rebecca to Zena on 13 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Zena Hadjivasiliou

      Zena Hadjivasiliou answered on 13 Mar 2015:

      I really like studying patterns. A lot of the patterns we see in nature are formed because of chemical reactions, when different chemicals come together they interact with each other and the way they spread in space can result in very beautiful patterns. Mathematics and equations and numbers can help us understand how this happens. I like this a lot because when we look at these patterns it seems like they magically came into being so perfect and that any explanation for they way they are would have to be too complex. But simple equations can explain really complex patterns. For example the reaction and pattern you see in the next two videos can be understood by using only two equations:

      This is a video of the reaction between two chemicals:

      and this is a video of the way a microorganism moves around in space following a chemical:

      Cool, no?!