What is a Fractal?

Many visitors to this site will not be aware of what they are. This term was coined by the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in his 1977 book. Mandelbrot's view that many patterns in nature have fractal distributions has become widely accepted since then. There are many sources of information on this. The article that comes up on Wikipedia when you use the search string "fractal" is a good place to start.

It is not hard to find "fractal" art by an internet search. Most of it is based on what mathematicians call "Julia sets", of which the "Mandelbrot set" is the most famous example. The great majority of fractal art on the internet is of this kind, even though it is but a small part of Mandelbrot's book.

Mandelbrot also describes many natural and statistical fractals, but these have thus far found little use in art. Some of the images which can be seen here belong to this "random" branch of the fractal family, which thus far has found very little use in art.