ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fractal geometry. A computer graphics image of the Mandelbrot Set, a group of complex numbers plotted using their real & imaginary parts as coordinates. Each point is assigned a colour depending upon its behaviour under a series of simple, but repeated, mathematical operations or mappings. The patterns are infinitly complicated, appearing qualitatively the same on whatever scale they are viewed. A magnification, however large, of any part of the image, produces an image which looks very similar. The study of such "chaotic" mathematical behaviour is becoming increasingly important as a means of modelling real-world processes from stock market prices to population dynamics & fluid turbulence.
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