Arthur Winfree – The Geometry of Biological Time


To understand the origins of fibrillation and potential treatments, Art initiated several different lines of enquiry. In careful numerical and experimental studies of two-dimensional excitable media, Art demonstrated that rotating spiral waves often meander in space—the exact geometry of the meander depending on the parameters of the differential equations or the experimental preparation (Winfree, 1990a).

Moreover, in some instances, spiral waves spontaneously break up, leading to many independently rotating spiral waves (Courtemanche and Winfree, 1991). In order to investigate the stability of the twisted and knotted scroll waves that he and Steve Strogatz predicted to exist and to determine initial conditions that might lead to these waves, Art and his students began an ambitious project of super-computer calculations of three-dimensional scroll wave dynamics (Nandapurkar and Winfree, 1987; Winfree, 1990b,1994; Henze and Winfree, 1991).

To determine the geometry of wave propagation in intact heart, Art collaborated with the late Frank Witkowski, a brilliant cardiologist who was building an optical mapping apparatus to study wave propagation in heart during fibrillatory rhythms by measuring the fluorescence of heart tissue stained with voltage-sensitive dyes. This work led to the observation of rotating spiral waves from the surface of a sheep heart during ventricular fibrillation (Witkowski, et al., 1998). Art’s ideas about cardiac arrhythmias and their relationship to rotating spiral and scroll waves are summarized in his book, When Time Breaks Down (Winfree, 1987).

This book helped to shape experimental and theoretical work by many investigators, including R. Ideker, J. Jalife, J. Keener and A. Karma. In 1987, Art moved from Purdue to the University of Arizona, where he continued his research on chemical reactions and cardiac muscle, somewhat incongruously, in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Though good at it, Art was never truly comfortable with computer simulations. To him they were guides to his intuition, geometric vision, and experimental tinkering. How would it be possible to confirm experimentally the predicted existence of stable scroll rings and other more exotic, three-dimensional, rotating structures? Although it seemed likely that scroll rings could rotate deep in the heart, optical studies of wave propagation in heart tissue were only capable of imaging a thin surface layer, so it was impossible to observe scroll rings directly.

Hoping to find sound experimental evidence for the subtle and spectacular patterns playing out in his computer simulations, Art designed and built a system to measure with high resolution the concentration patterns of BZR intermediates in space and time. It was essentially a high-tech version of his stacked filter papers. By shining a light through the BZR and scanning the absorption of light at different angles, he used tomographic reconstruction techniques to determine the geometry of the three-dimensional rotating structure.

In Winfree et al. (1996), he described the many technical hurdles that had to be overcome and presented unequivocal evidence that the detailed anatomy of rotating scroll waves could in fact be observed in real systems. In what we believe is Art’s last paper on this problem, published post-humously, he addressed some of these matters computationally (Sutcliffe and Winfree, 2003). Unfortunately, following the demonstration of optical tomographic imaging of the BZR, the projected use of this method to study a host of other problems (such as the initial conditions needed to seed various three-dimensional structures, and the dynamics and stability of knotted and twisted scroll rings in real systems) was never completed. Those problems, many of which are sketched out in a recent review (Winfree, 2001), remain a part of Art’s legacy to future generations.

Ken Wheeler – The Pythagorean Tetraktys

“Some called the Tetraktys the great oath of the Pythagoreans, because they considered it the perfect number, or even because it is the principle of wholeness; among them is Philolaus.

“The number 10 is complete at 4” “To him that gave to our generation the Tetraktys, which contains the fount and root of all eternal nature”
“Arithmetic, geometric, and harmonics were the three principles by which the Divine Artifice proportioned out the world soul”

Number is the first principle, a thing which is undefined, incomprehensible, having in itself all numbers which could reach infinity in amount. And the first principle of numbers is in substance the first Monad, which is a male monad, begetting as a father all other numbers. Secondly, the Dyad is a female number, and the same is called by the arithmeticians even.

Thirdly, the Triad is a male number; this the arithmeticians have been wont to call odd. Finally, the Tetrad is a female number, and the same is called even because it is female. ….

Pythagoras said this sacred Tektractys is: `the spring having the roots of ever-flowing nature.’…. the four parts of the Decad, this perfect number, are called number, monad, power and cube. And the interweavings and minglings of these in the origin of growth are what naturally completes nascent number.

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Golden Ratio in Life and Science

So called empty space is most likely structured. Buckminster Fuller already considered the possibility that the geometric structure of space was given by his Isotropic Vector Matrix (IVM): a network of interconnected tetrahedra and octahedra with a Vector Equilibrium in its center. This is what I have called the inner structure of Metatron’s Cube, a structure that scales inwards and outwards, and whose cartesian coordinates can be derived exclusively from integer and rational numbers, in fact from powers of 2 and 3 as in Aristoxenus musical scale. For Fuller, the IVM was a conceptual framework describing the symmetry of space, with which energy events could interact through its jitterbug property, producing a radiating wave of activity [3, p.192]. So the hypothesis is that, depending on the frequency of the sound source, a different geometric energy propagation pattern takes place in empty (structured) space. This geometric pattern may not captured by microphones, but it may interact with the subtle bodies of human beings, and it may be the source of the inherent qualities of sound that we are able to perceive but not yet to quantify.

Oleh Bodnar – Dynamic Symmetry in Nature and Architecture

The term dynamic symmetry was for the first time applied by the American architecture researcher J. Hambidge to a certain principle of proportioning in architecture . Later this term independently appeared in physics where it was introduced to describe physical processes that are characterized by invariants. Finally, in the given research the term dynamic symmetry is applied to regularity of natural form-shaping that in terms of origin also appears not to be connected with Hambidge’s idea, and, moreover, appearance of this term in physics. However, all the three variants are deeply interconnected in terms of their meaning which we are going to show.

At first, we point out strategic similarity of Hambidge’s and our researches. This is a well-known historical direction which in the field of architecture and art is motivated by the search for harmony regularities and, thus, is aimed at studying the objects of nature. Usually architects take interest in the structural regularities of natural form-shaping and, particularly, in the golden section and Fibonacci numbers which are regularities standing out by their intriguing role in architectural form-shaping. It is not accidentally that architects who do researches so frequently pay attention to botanical phenomenon phyllotaxis which is characterized by these regularities.


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Number and Magnitude

We have lost the relationship between Number and Form or Number and Magnitude as the Ancient Greeks called their Forms.


A few years ago a Revolution in Mathematics and Physics has started. This revolution is caused by Geometric Algebra.

In Geometric Algebra the Ancient Theories of Euclid and Pythagoras are reevaluated.

Numbers are Scalar (Quantum) Movements of Geometric Patterns and not Static Symbols of Abstractions that have nothing to do with our Reality.

Movements and not Forces are the Essence of Physics.

The basic rule Movement = Space/Time (v=s/t) shows that  Time and Space are two Reciprocal 3D-Spaces. Our Senses Experience Space and not Time.

The Simple Rule N/N=1/1=1 balances the Duals of Space and Time. One Unit Step in Space is always Compensated by One Unit Step in Time.

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Caroline Series – Hyperbolic Geometry, Perspective and Time

Medieval Perspective


When we Look with our Eyes and not with our Mind we can See that Space looks very different from what we Think it is. In Our Space Parallel Lines meet at Infinity.

Around 1400 during the Renaissance Painters started to look at Space with their own Eyes and discovered the Rules of Perspective Drawing.

Between 1600-1800 Perspective Theory changed from a Theory of Art to a Theory of Mathematics called Projective Geometry.

It took 400 Years before a few Mathematicians realized that Projective Geometry was the Foundation of Mathematics and it took another 100 years before Projective Geometry started to influence Physics.

In 1908 Hermann Minkowski discovered that Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity could be analysed using Projective Geometry. Minkowski created a 4D Space-Time Metric Geometry in which he added one Time Dimension.

Many experiments now show that 4D-Space-Time  is not sufficient to incorporate what Time Really is.

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