Living at the convergence of faith and art.

The Fractal Dimension


For me, if there was ever a harmonious convergence of art, faith and science it can be found here, in the design of structures.  NOVA / PBS have done it again with what I believe will be another award winning production revealing that which has always been; the fractal.  It’s beautiful; it’s simple; it’s elegant; it’s powerful.


I’m no math-wiz.  In fact my daily use of math extends to the basics of cooking and art, but this I get.  In the 1970’s a Frenchman named Benoit Mandelbrot (ben-wah man-del-bro) discovered something wonderful; the fractal.  It’s basically a mathematical expression of infinite repetition found in all natural designs and systems.  At this point, I’m going to let the program describe them because any attempt on my part would only confuse you.  The bottom line is, fractals are far more than just pretty pictures.


The use of what has come to be known as fractal geometry is transforming how scientists explore and observe the natural world of living things, and even of natural systems of all kinds.  Fractals can be found in literally every aspect of nature.  This discovery is leading to some incredible new ideas and research projects, as well as the design of advanced products and technologies.

The world of entertainment owes its entire bag of visual tricks in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) to the discovery, comprehension, and application of fractal geometry.  Modern digital communications have taken quantum leaps forward because fractal geometry has been applied to their design.  Heavens, you can even wear fractals.


You can see this awesome program online at PBS.  It’s in five parts, and can be understood by anyone.  It’s not over-your-head science.  Great Homeschool stuff!

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One response

  1. Supposititious

    Fractals… are crazy awesome

    October 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm