Fractals – The art of roughness




“The most important thing I have done is to combine something esoteric with a practical issue that affects many people.” - Benoit Mandelbrot

Benoit Mandelbrot gave a talk recently about his work on fractals and his more recent approach on using fractals when analyzing the  stock market behavior.

A fractal is “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,”

Below is a picture of the Mandelbrot-set fractal – the poster boy of all fractals –  which sparked also the interest of the art scene and the public about the beautiful and complex geometric structures.

mandelbrot set fractal (Wikipedia)
Here is a zoom-able version: you can zoom in on the different structures and see that they are composed of smaller elements with the same structure.

These patterns occur everywhere in nature from snowflakes, lightnings to broccoli.

broccoli fractal (Wikipedia)

Also in the work of Jackson Pollock fractal shapes have been spotted and they play also an interesting role in African architecture and culture.

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