A word coined by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975 to describe shapes that are "self-similar" -- that is, shapes that look the same at different magnifications. To create a fractal, you start with a simple shape and duplicate it successively according to a set of fixed rules. Oddly enough, such a simple formula for creating shapes can produce very complex structures, some of which have a striking resemblance to objects that appear in the real world. For example, graphics designers use fractals to generate images of mountainous landscapes, coastlines, and flowers. In fact, many of the computer -generated images that appear in science fiction films utilize fractals.
E-mail this definition to a colleague
Comprehensive collection of links to fractal programs, galleries, music, compression, theory, and newsgroups.
This site highlights FracZoom Navigator, a realtime zoomable fractal computation and rendering program.
This page shows a collection of Mandelbrot fractals. The graphics are available in JPEG format.
Yahoo!'s computer generated fractal page
Yahoo!'s directory of links relating to computer generated fractals.
Yahoo!'s computer generated fractals page
Yahoo!'s directory of computer generated fractals.