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X and the City by John A. Adam

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Appendix 9

A MINISCULE INTRODUCTION TO FRACTALS

 

 

 

 

 

The person most often associated with the discovery of fractals (and rightly so) is the mathematician Benoit B. Mandelbrot. Indeed, one doesn’t need to be the proverbial rocket scientist to see why the Mandelbrot set is so named (for details of this amazing set, just Google the name!). The mathematics underlying the structure of fractals (geometric measure theory), however, had been developed long before the “computer revolution” made possible the visualization of such complicated mathematical objects. In the 1960s Mandelbrot pointed out some interesting but very surprising results in a paper entitled “How long is the coastline of Britain?” published posthumously by the English meteorologist ...

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