Fractal Explorer

Fractal Explorer

What are fractals?

Fractal is a term which was coined by Benoît Mandelbrot. It refers to a certain group of shapes and objects. But how to define fractals?

Fractals are natural or artificial structures wich offer a high level of scale invariance or self-similarity.

Scale invariance relating to fractals means that the scale is not important for the result. Structures which are scale invariant can be observed from different distances but the object always looks the same.

Self similarity means that parts of the object are self similar (they contain parts of themself). Self similar structures contain parts which are similar to themselves. It is even possible that the whole sturcutre can be found within the object (i.e. Mandelbrot Set).

Because of these two attributes very complex structures can be reduced to simple rules when they are recognized as fractals.

Examples for natural fractales are:

Examples for artificial fractals are:

After understanding the beauty of fractals you will always try to find fractal structures in your environment. And you will find them. Fractals are more than just a mathematical theory to describe certain things. Fractals are the answer to so many different questions.

Further reading:

Concept of iteration

By the way:

In 1997 Arthur Clarke made a recommendable documentary about fractals called "Fractals: The Colors of Infinity":