Slideshow of Stunning (and Whimsical) Fractals, in Honor of Benoit Mandelbrot
The maverick French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot has died of pancreatic cancer at age 85. He will be remembered for creating a new branch of math: fractal geometry. The field allowed us to measure phenomena in nature thought previously off-limits to math, like clouds, and cauliflower.
"Fractals are easy to explain, it's like a romanesco cauliflower, which is to say that each small part of it is exactly the same as the entire cauliflower itself," Catherine Hill, a statistician at the Gustave Roussy Institute, explains to AFP.
More technically, a fractal is a fragmented geometric shape that, when split into parts, each part is roughly a smaller copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity. And it makes some damn wild images when you start injecting color, layers or even candy.
MORE: Here is an amazing fractal art gallery on Flickr.
Breastfeeding Moms Post Beautiful Selfies to Fight Social Stigma Donald Trump may not be a fan of “World Breastfeeding Week,” but these moms are.
The Confounding Charm of the Tour of Italy The most beautiful (and most fraught) bike race in the world A storied race at a crossroads
Old Batteries Become New Homes For Adorable Baby Bluebirds As part of their “zero landfill waste” initiative, General Motors is going to the birds.
Cecil the Lion is Now a Beanie Baby for a Very Good Cause Toymaker Ty is launching a special edition “Cecil” plush in partnership with Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.
Meet the Painter Turning His City’s Drab Utility Boxes Into Internet-Inspired Works of Art New Zealand artist Paul Walsh is on a mission to add some much-needed color to his local urban infrastructure.
This is a classic: the initial image of a zoom sequence for a Mandelbrot set with a continuously colored environment. Wikimedia has 14 zooms showing increasing levels of complexity and beauty with each new magnification.
Image (CC) Wikimedia.
This is step 11 of the same zoom sequence: double-spirals with satellites of second order.
Image (CC) Wikimedia