Remember the old, old days before the internet, before Wikipedia, when the most advanced learning tool in the house was Microsoft Encarta. Back in ’95 we used to wonder-how do they cram so many words and beautiful images on one little compact disc?
The answer of course is fractals, that amazing branch of learning where geometry and graphic arts meet, and which gives us such insights into nature. Their discovery crept up on us slowly-and they weren’t always welcome. In 1861 fractals pioneer Karl Weierstrass produced the first true fractal, a graph made of zig zags with no straight bits whatsoever. His fellow mathematicians labelled it “pathological”. Fractals didn’t really come into their own until Benoit Mandelbrot harnessed the power of the first really big IBMs in the 1960s -and the rest, as they say, is history.
We’ve got a couple of articles for you to dive into today. Michael Rose in The Conversation has a lovely salesman like piece, breaking them down into properties and possibilities. If you want to dip your toe into the mathematical waters , Craig Haggit over at How Stuff Works has a kindly sampler. For a nice light guide, including how you can never ever measure the coast of Brittany, you might like Fractals for Dummies by Bruno Marion. Wikipedia has some great graphics-enjoy them.
It was fractal technology that makes the mouthpiece in your mobile work. It lets you understand things in nature like ferns and lightning. If you read even one of our links you will never think about dimensions in the same way again-promise. Fractals, Biotechnology and AI are the great triad of the future. However hard you try, the world will never be like it was before they came along.
#fractal #mandelbrotset #recursion #selfsimilarity