"Fractal" is a term coined by Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-) to describe an
object which has partial dimension. For example, a point is a zero-dimensional
object, a line is a one-dimensional object, and a plane is a
two-dimensional object. But what about a line with a kink in it? Or a
line that has an infinite number of kinks in it? These are mathematical
constructs which don't fit into normal (Euclidean) geometry very well, and
for a long time mathematicians considered things like these as "monsters" to
be avoided - lines of thought that defied rational explanation in known terms.
Within the past few decades, "fractal math" has exploded, and now there are "known terms" for describing objects which heretofore were indescribable or inexplicable. There are an infinite variety of fractals and types; those that I focus on in my gallery are Mandelbrot and Julia fractals. Gaston Julia (1893-1978) was a French mathematician whose work (published in 1918) inspired Mandelbrot in 1977 (the second time Mandelbrot looked at Julia's work). Mandelbrot used computers to explore Julia's work, and discovered (quite by accident) the most famous fractal of all, which now bears his name: the Mandelbrot set. |