learning / Thoughts and Experiences

What is a fractal?

What is a fractal?

fractal – def – a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation.

…Sounds quite complex and perhaps confusing, but you have all seen a fractal before. A fractal is simply that shape that looks the same when you zoom in or out (kind of). When someone first explained a fractal to me in words, I had no idea what a fractal was, but then I saw a few pictures and began playing with fractals myself – not as complex as it seems.

Could this never ending pattern explain infinite space? I thought about this for a while and I think it might be possible; meaning the universe goes on forever just as much as ‘things’ get smaller forever. However, it gets tricky because that would mean everything has the same basic structure, but perhaps we do and just have not discovered it. (That is kind of going out on a limb though…)

Anyway, I made this video to elaborate on the movement of fractals. I used Science vs. Magic to create the fractal shapes and then paired the movements with music. It is a little groovy, but fun – hope you find it interesting!

fractals. from Sydney Morris on Vimeo.

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