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

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51
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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 ...
42
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1answer
927 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, ...
42
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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: ...
28
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2answers
650 views

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 ...
27
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5answers
711 views

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 ...
27
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
19
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3answers
276 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 ...
18
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4answers
837 views

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 ...
18
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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 ...
18
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2answers
6k 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, ...
18
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1answer
294 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 ...
15
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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 $\mathbb{C}$?
14
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1answer
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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 ...
13
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
13
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2answers
387 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 ...
13
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2answers
362 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 ...
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 ...
11
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1answer
239 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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1answer
42 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 ...
10
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1answer
367 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 ...
9
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4answers
440 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
346 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 ...
9
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3answers
347 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
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2answers
170 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 ...
9
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3answers
345 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 ...
9
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1answer
394 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 ...
9
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1answer
99 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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0answers
208 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 ...
8
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2answers
555 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 ...
8
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1answer
261 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 ...
8
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1answer
330 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 ...
8
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3answers
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A way to determine the ideal number of maximum iterations for an arbitrary zoom level in a Mandelbrot fractal

I've created a JavaScript-based fractal drawer which you can see here: http://jsfiddle.net/xfF3f/12/ As you're probably all aware, a Mandelbrot Set is created by iterating over pixels as though they ...
8
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2answers
280 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 ...
8
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2answers
327 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": $$Y(i)=\sum_{j=1}^{1000+i}Z(j) \:\:\: ; \:\:\: (i=1,2,...,N)$$ where $Z(j)$ is a Gaussian noise with ...
8
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0answers
229 views

Kakeya Needle problem video

I'm intruiged by the Kakeya Needle problem, described here on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has a nice animation of a needle turning through a hypo-cycloid: What I'm searching for is a visualisation of the ...
7
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3answers
518 views

Given a Pattern, find the fractal

Is it possible, given a pattern or image, to calculate the equation of the fractal for that given pattern? For example, many plants express definite fractal patterns in their growth. Is there a ...
7
votes
3answers
383 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 ...
7
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1answer
295 views

Relationship between the Weierstrass function and other fractals

Consider the Weierstrass function: $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}a^n\cos{b^n\pi x}$$ It is well-known as an example of a function that is everywhere continuous and nowhere differentiable. When reading about ...
7
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3answers
590 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

What is known about nice automorphisms of the Mandelbrot set?

It is often stated that fractals, such as the Mandelbrot set M, are self-similar, although I've never heard of any functions to formally model this perspective. I'm curious to learn about any ...
7
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1answer
379 views

Self Study of Fractals

I am looking for a book to self-study fractals with a certain criteria. I have checked out Getting Aquainted with Fractals. Note that Getting Aquainted with Fractals does not include ...
7
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0answers
199 views

About devil's staircases

We say that a function $f:\left[a,b\right] \to \mathbb{R}$ is a singular function or a devil's staircase if $f$ satisfies the following properties: $f$ is continuous; $f(a) < f(b)$; $f$ is ...
7
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0answers
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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 $n$. ...
6
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2answers
486 views

What's wrong with this 'open cover' of the Koch Snowflake?

This question is to help me find peace. First, the question of the Snowflake's compactness has been tackled here on this site: Is the Koch Snowflake a Compact Space? Is Koch snowflake a continuous ...
6
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2answers
645 views

What real numbers are in the Mandelbrot set?

The Mandelbrot set is defined over the complex numbers and is quite complicated. It's defined by the complex numbers $c$ that remain bounded under the recursion: $$ z_{n+1} = z_n^2 + c,$$ where $z_1 = ...
6
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3answers
168 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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Is Fractal perimeter always infinite?

Looking for information on fractals through google I have read several time that one characteristic of fractals is : finite area infinite perimeter Although I can feel the area is finite (at ...
6
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2answers
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Continuous coloring of a Mandelbrot fractal

I've recently started making a small fractal app in Javascript using the famous Mandelbrot bulb (z = z^2 + c). I've been trying to find the best method of coloring the points on the complex plane, and ...
6
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1answer
147 views

Fractals - when the number of seed shapes that can fit into the scaled-up copy is non-integer.

I've heard people say (for eg. here) that the dimension of fractal patterns (particularly, in this question, Lindenmayer fractals) can be formulated as follows: $$D=\frac{\ln N}{\ln S}$$ Where $N$ ...
6
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1answer
597 views

any idea what fractal algorithm might generate this shape?

I Found this image around, and i'm curious what algorithm generates this kind of shape In particular, i'm curious how the flow lines are generated, since usually the Mandelbrot iteration just ...