Difference between revisions of "Field:Fractals"

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:'''Iterated function systems (IFS)''' {{Hide|
 
:'''Iterated function systems (IFS)''' {{Hide|
::A IFS fractal consists of one of more equations or processes that describe the behavior of the fractal and are recursively applied. These fractals are always exactly self-similar and are made up of an infinite number of self-copies that are transformed by a function or set of functions.
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::A IFS fractal consists of one of more equations or processes that describe the behavior of the fractal and are applied recursively . These fractals are always exactly self-similar and are made up of an infinite number of self-copies that are transformed by a function or set of functions.
 
::*Examples include: [[Koch Snowflake]], [[Harter-Heighway Dragon]], Barnsley’s Fern ([[Blue Fern]]), and [[Sierpinski's Triangle]].
 
::*Examples include: [[Koch Snowflake]], [[Harter-Heighway Dragon]], Barnsley’s Fern ([[Blue Fern]]), and [[Sierpinski's Triangle]].
 
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Revision as of 10:54, 1 July 2009


Fractals

NorwayCoastline.png

A fractal is often defined as a geometric shape that is self-similar, that is, whose magnified parts look like a smaller copy of the whole. The term "fractal" was coined by Benoit Mandelbolt in 1975 from the latin term fractus meaning "fragmented" or "irregular".

This concept can be explained in a commonly used analogy involving the coastline of an island:

Suppose you wanted to measure the total perimeter of an island. You could begin by roughly estimating the perimeter of the island by measuring the border of the island from a high vantage point like an airplane and using miles as units. Next, to be more accurate, you could walk along the island's borders and measure around its various coves and bays using a measuring tape and foot as units. Then, if you wanted to be really accurate, you could carefully measure around every single protruding rock and detail of the island with foot-long ruler and use inches as a measuring unit.

The perimeter of the island would grow as you decrease the size of your measuring device and increase the accuracy of your measurements. Also, the island would more or less self-similar (in terms of becoming more and more jagged and complex) as you continued to shorten your measuring device.


[[Image:|300px|thumb|right|]]



References

Wikipedia, Fractals Page

Cynthia Lanius, Cynthia Lanius' Lessons: A Fractal Lesson

CoolMath.com, Math of Fractals