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To: Brigitte Balint, Re: Mandelbrot Set

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

"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

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.


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