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Oct 03, 1996 10:15 AM

by liesel f. deutsch

Dear Brigitte, M I learned about Mandelbrot and fractiles from a book called "Turbulent Mirror" by John Briggs & F. David Peat, Harper & Row 1990 HI prefer to quote from my book, because I'm a linguist, not a scientist. Here are 2 quotes that explain the Mandelbrot set: ""Multiplying a factor by itself produces feedback or 'iteration' and nonlinearity." "Mandelbrot began by iterating a simple algebraic expression on a computer. This sent him on a voyage into the infinite two dimensional sheet of numbers called the complex plane. The particular set of complex numbers Mandelbrot explored in this plane has since come to be named the 'Mandelbrot set' and dubbed 'the most complex object in mathematics.' Mandelbrot remains enthusiastic about what he's found. "This set is an astonishing combination of utter simplicity and mind-boggling complication. At first sight it is a 'molecule' made of bonded 'atoms', one shape like a cardioid and the other nearly circular. But a closer look discloses an infinity of smaller molecules shaped like the big one, and linked by what I proposed to call a 'devil's polymer' Don't let me go on raving about this set's beauty. "Hundreds, perhaps thousands of computer adventurers have by now journeyed into the set using home computer variatiions of an iterative program explained by AK Dewdney in the pages of "Scientific American'. But explorers of the Mandelbrot set need have no fear of being imposed on by a crowd like tourists at the Grand Canyon. The unearthly Mandelbrot landscape - the mathematical strange attractor - is vast, in fact infinite, and "there are zillions of beautiful spots to visit' Says Cornell mathematician John H Hubbard..." Strange attractors, as far as I can figure out are turbulences. Their strong motion attracts surrounding vibes, objects what have you. Something like that. Hope that helps. Liesel

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