Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A fractal is a geometric object which is rough or irregular on all scales of length, and therefore appears to be 'broken up' in a radical way.

Fractals of many kinds were originally studied as mathematical objects.

Approximate fractals are easily found in nature.

These objects display self-similar structure over an extended, but finite, scale range.

Examples include clouds, snow flakes, mountains, river networks, cauliflower or broccoli, and systems of blood vessels.

Trees and ferns are fractal in nature and can be modeled on a computer by using a recursive algorithm.

This recursive nature is obvious in these examples - a branch from a tree or a frond from a fern is a miniature replica of the whole: not identical, but similar in nature.

The surface of a mountain can be modeled on a computer by using a fractal: Start with a triangle in 3D space and connect the central points of each side by line segments, resulting in 4 triangles.

The central points are then randomly moved up or down, within a defined range.

The procedure is repeated, decreasing at each iteration the range by half.

The recursive nature of the algorithm guarantees that the whole is statistically similar to each detail.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Fractal", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:

Related Stories

Share This

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins