Questions on fractals, irregular-looking mathematical objects that display the property of self-similarity.

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63
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Why does the Mandelbrot set contain (slightly deformed) copies of itself?

The Mandelbrot set is the set of points of the complex plane whos orbits do not diverge. An point $c$'s orbit is defined as the sequence $z_0 = c$, $z_{n+1} = z_n^2 + c$. The shape of this set is ...
59
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2answers
5k views

Fractal behavior along the boundary of convergence?

The complex power series $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{z^{n^2}}{n^2}$$ has radius $1$ (Ratio Test) and is absolutely convergent along $|z|=1$. Recalling something that my calculus professor (Ray Mayer, ...
52
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4answers
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Does this Fractal Have a Name?

I was curious whether this fractal(?) is named/famous, or is it just another fractal? I was playing with the idea of randomness with constraints and the fractal was generated as follows: Draw a ...
47
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2answers
2k views

A new kind of fractal?

http://www.gibney.de/does_anybody_know_this_fractal Is this some known kind of fractal? Update: This one got a lot of great feedback from around the net. I summarized it here: http://www.gibney.de/...
40
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5answers
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If $f(x)=x^2-x-1$ and $f^n(x)=f(f(\cdots f(x)\cdots))$, find all $x$ for which $f^{3n}(x)$ converges.

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ be the polynomial defined by $$f(x)=x^2-x-1$$ and let $$g_0(x)=f(x),\quad g_1(x)=f(f(x)),\quad\ldots\quad g_n(x)=f(f(f(\cdots f(x)\cdots)))$$ The positive root of $f(x)$...
38
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5answers
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What exactly are fractals

I have always been amazed by things like the Mandelbrot set. I share the view of most that it and the Koch snowflake are absolutely beautiful. I decided to get a deeper more mathematical knowledge of ...
35
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2answers
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Why does this distribution of polynomial roots resemble a collection of affine IFS fractals?

Consider the following spectacular image, created by Sam Derbyshire and described in John Baez's article "The Beauty of Roots": In this image are plotted all the complex roots of all polynomials of ...
32
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5answers
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Why does the Hilbert curve fill the whole square?

I have never seen a formal definition of the Hilbert curve, much less a careful analysis of why it fills the whole square. The Wikipedia and Mathworld articles are typically handwavy. I suppose the ...
23
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5answers
485 views

Fractals reference

I want to present an elementary lecture about Fractals in the Nature. So, I am searching open or online references with good pictures like the following one: I prepared a good program that makes ...
23
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2answers
347 views

What is this pattern found in the first occurrence of each $k \in \{0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9\}$ in the values of $f(n)=\sqrt{n}-\lfloor \sqrt{n} \rfloor$?

Learning how to generate the Mandelbrot set, I came across the definition of the "escape condition" which is the one that decides the color that is applied to each point of the plane where the ...
22
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3answers
855 views

Supremum of all y-coordinates of the Mandelbrot set

Let $M\subset \mathbb R^2$ be the Mandelbrot set. What is $\sup\{ y : (x,y) \in M \}$? Is this known? To be more descriptive: What is the supremum of all y-coordinates of all black points in the ...
21
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4answers
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Mandelbrot fractal: How is it possible?

I'm a programmer and have recently played around a bit with rendering Mandelbrot fractals / zooming into them. What I can't grasp: How can such infinite, complex shapes come out of somewhat 10 lines ...
21
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2answers
16k views

Has anyone found a “pattern” in prime numbers?

Yesterday I was having some fun trying to look for some patterns in primes; and I think I found something interesting (to me at least). I still have not found any lists of patterns already found, ...
20
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2answers
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Do Integrals over Fractals Exist?

Given, for example, a line integral like $$ \int_\gamma f \; ds $$ with $f$ not further defined, yet. What happens, if the contour $\gamma$ happens to be a fractal curve? Since all fractal ...
19
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1answer
907 views

Mandelbrot set and prime numbers

I have written a simple program in C to generate Mandelbrot set. Wherever I zoom in, it seems to me that I see prime numbers, most often 11, 17, 19. For example the object on the attached image has 11 ...
18
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11answers
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Mandelbrot-like sets for functions other than $f(z)=z^2+c$?

Are there any well-studied analogs to the Mandelbrot set using functions other than $f(z)= z^2+c$ in $\mathbb{C}$?
18
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Calculate moment of inertia of Koch snowflake

That's just a fun question. Please, be creative. Suppose having a Koch snowflake. The area inside this curve is having the total mass $M$ and the length of the first iteration is $L$ (a simple ...
18
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3answers
268 views

What is the moment of inertia of a Gosper island?

We know that regular hexagons can tile the plane but not in a self-similar fashion. However we can construct a fractal known as a Gosper island, that has the same area as the hexagon but has the ...
18
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0answers
162 views

Has this chaotic map been studied?

I have recently been playing around with the discrete map $$z_{n+1} = z_n - \frac{1}{z_n}$$ That is, repeatedly mapping each number to the difference between itself and its reciprocal. It shows some ...
17
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0answers
412 views

Visualizing the Partition numbers (suggestions for visualization techniques)

So Ken Ono says that the partition numbers behave like fractals, in which case I'd like to try to find an appropriately illuminating way of visualizing them. But I'm sort of stuck at the moment, so ...
16
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2answers
634 views

Mini Mandelbrots, are they exact copies?

(This one was found by magnifying 280,000,000 times.) In popular "zoom movies" of the Mandelbrot set the last image is often what appears to be an exact copy of the original set. This is always very ...
15
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2answers
713 views

H0w have group theory and fractal geometry been combined?

Has there been a significant tie made between group theory and fractal geometry? What are some ways that they have been tied together? I've been inspired to ask this question by this image of a free ...
14
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4answers
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How to explain fractals to a layperson and to someone with more math training?

I have a Ph.D. in computational and theoretical chemistry with advanced but field-oriented knowledge of mathematics. I am fascinated by fractals, but I am unable to understand them from the formal ...
14
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2answers
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Why does the boundary of the Mandelbrot set contain a cardioid?

In a comment to a previous answer it has been mentioned that the boundary of the Mandelbrot set contains the cardioid $$ c = e^{it} \, \frac{2 - e^{it}}{4} $$ but how can we prove this?
14
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1answer
510 views

Why are these two definitions of the Mandelbrot set equivalent?

The definition of the Mandelbrot set that most enthusiasts first encounter is that of the set of all complex numbers $c$ for which the sequence $z_{n+1} = z_n^2 + c$ starting from $z_0 = 0$ does not ...
14
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1answer
270 views

Koch snowflake versus $\pi=4$

The only proof I could find of the Koch snowflake having infinite perimeter was by calculating the perimeter $P_n$ after the $n$th iteration $$P_n = 3s\left(\frac{4}{3}\right)^n,$$ where $s$ is the ...
14
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1answer
242 views

Integral over filled Julia sets

Defining the usual quadratic Julia set iteration $f_c(z)=z^2+c$ for complex $c$, and its $n$th iteration $f^n_c(z)=f_c(f_c(\cdots f_c(z)\cdots))$, you can define a function of 4 variables $$c_{x,y,z,w}...
13
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1answer
7k views

Odd and even numbers in Pascal's triangle-Sierpinski's triangle

Moderator Note: At the time that this question was posted, it was from an ongoing contest. The relevant deadline has now passed. I recently learned that when the Pascal's triangle is reduced to ...
13
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1answer
168 views

Projection of Antoine's necklace

Antoine's necklace is a pathological embedding of the Cantor set into $\Bbb R^3$. The second iteration looks like this: Interestingly, the complement $\Bbb R^3\setminus\rm A$ is not simply ...
12
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6answers
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What sorts of problems can fractals solve?

After doing a bit of research on fractals, I was wondering what sort of real-life applications do fractal have and in what way would they be used to help solve a problem. I already know people use ...
12
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2answers
807 views

Interesting but elementary properties of the Mandelbrot Set

I suppose everyone is familiar with the Mandelbrot set. I'm teaching a course right now in which I am trying to convey the beauty of some mathematical ideas to first year students. They basically know ...
11
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3answers
777 views

variant on Sierpinski carpet: rescue the tablecloth!

I was playing around with Sierpinski carpets (see pretty GPU-produced picture here), and came up with a variation that I have been unable to find mentioned elsewhere. I'm wondering if anyone can tell ...
11
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1answer
260 views

Reconstructing a Monthly problem: tree growth on the 2D integer lattice

I'm trying to reconstruct a problem I saw in the Monthly, years ago. Perhaps it'll look familiar to someone. In the integer lattice in the plane, we grow a tree in the following natural way: ...
11
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2answers
532 views

Why are fractal curves nowhere differentiable?

I am a highschool student who stumbled upon fractals when doing a math project. In my research about fractals, I have found that they are nowhere differentiable. Can someone explain this in simple ...
11
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2answers
433 views

Is The *Mona Lisa* in the complement of the Mandelbrot set.

Here is a description of how to color pictures of the Mandelbrot set, more accurately the complement of the Mandelbrot set. Suppose we have a rectangular array of points. Say the array is $m$ by $n$. ...
10
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2answers
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Properties of the Mandelbrot set, accessible without knowledge of topology?

Are there any properties of the Mandelbrot set that can be analysed without a knowledge of complicated topology? Considering the fact that the set is based on a quadratic function, are there any ...
10
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3answers
580 views

Quadratic Julia sets and periodic cycles

Consider the function $f_c(z) = z^2 + c$. Applying this function repeatedly, we get the familiar quadratic Julia sets that fractal enthusiasts burn compute cycles plotting. Infinity is always one ...
10
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1answer
755 views

Regular open set whose boundary has nonzero volume.

I found this question quite interesting, but its answers were disappointingly non-geometric. I'd be interested to know whether there exists a geometric example. To be precise about what I mean by a ...
10
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3answers
672 views

Hilbert curve, understanding the original article

I'm trying to read and understand the article in which Hilbert gave an illustration of a space filling curve, namely "Ueber die stetige Abbildung einer Linie auf ein Flächenstück". It's only a short 2 ...
10
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2answers
338 views

How to prove a property regarding periodicities of points in the Mandelbrot set?

While studying a visual representation the Mandelbrot set, I have come across a very interesting property: For any point inside the same primary bulb (a circular-like 'decoration' attached to the ...
10
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1answer
219 views

Packing infinitely many ellipses into a circle

Given a circle $C$, and an infinite set $S$ of mutually disjoint ellipses which are inside and tangent to $C$, prove that there must exist a disk $D$ which lies inside $C$ but outside every ellipse. ...
9
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3answers
616 views

Mandelbrot boundary

Is there a sequence of parameterized expressions for the border of all the major bulbs of the mandelbrot set? By major meaning all bulbs with diameter greater than 0.01 for example. I am interested ...
9
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1answer
333 views

The Mandelbrot Set Membership

To define the Mandelbrot Set we consider a sequence of complex numbers $z_0$, $z_1$, $z_2$, $z_3$, with the following conditions: $$ \begin{cases} z_{n+1} &= &z_n^2 + c &\text{ for }n\geq ...
9
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4answers
657 views

How to draw a fractal from $z \mapsto z^2 + c$ explained for a mere mortal?

I am interested in: 1) Understanding in detail how fractals are draw. 2) Coding a computer program to draw a simple fractal. Can someone with good explaining skills take care of 1) for me? I don't ...
9
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3answers
445 views

Geometrical objects whose volumes are fractional powers of their sizes

While studying properties of foams (imagine bubbly soap or microscopical grids/networks), I started wondering on the relationship between the volume occupied by the matter $V_s$ itself and the overall ...
9
votes
2answers
701 views

Why should Gaussian noise have fractal dimension of 1.5?

In a paper I'm trying to understand, the following time series is generated as "simulated data": $$Y(i)=\sum_{j=1}^{1000+i}Z(j) \:\:\: ; \:\:\: (i=1,2,\ldots,N)$$ where $Z(j)$ is a Gaussian noise ...
9
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1answer
599 views

Number of limit points of a continued exponential

Inspired by the work of C. Bender, I recently played with continued exponentials (like continued fractions but with exponential functions ;) ). Given all prefactors are equal to 1, the continued ...
8
votes
3answers
386 views

Does the Mandelbrot fractal contain countably or uncountably many copies of itself?

I've been working on a program that draws fractal images, and I was struck by a question that came to mind. It is clear that the Mandelbrot fractal contains infinitely many copies of itself, but I've ...
8
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2answers
200 views

How to avoid overlap in circle fractals?

I had asked this on reddit and someone suggested that I try here: Assuming that the pattern in the image below continues infinitely, how much would each generation of circles have to decrease to ...
8
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1answer
218 views

Mandelbrot set of $c \cdot \cos(z)$

I'm given a task to write a program, that determines if a given point $c \in \mathbb{C}$ is in the Mandelbrot set of the function $$f_c(z) = c \cdot \cos (z)$$ That is if the set $\{z_n = f_c^n (0) : ...