May 22, 1997: It Ain't No Banana | May 21 | May 23 | 1997 | FOTD Home |

Fractal
visionaries:

Most people have no idea what a fractal is. When they hear a
Julia set mentioned, these people picture a set of fine dinnerware;
when they hear the Cartesian plane mentioned, they picture a high-tech
airplane; when they hear imaginary numbers mentioned, they think of
falsified data.

In my experience, people are often turned from fractals by too much
talk about the math involved. Nerdy words such as
maxiter, derivative, transcendental, and hypercomplex bring nothing but
puzzled expressions, and give fractal art an egghead aura that it
really doesn't deserve. This is why I try to keep my
fractal formulas and discussion as simple as possible.

Today's fractal, an oblique slice of the (-Z)^1.05 mandeloid, is a
pretty simple one, but a rather striking one. I never cease
to be fascinated by the unique detail hidden in the lake area of these
ultra-low order figures. One of these years I'm going
to devote an entire month investigating these deceptively simple little
fractals. But for now I'm developing an interest in Newtons.

Jim Muth

jamth@mindspring.com

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