The Fascination with Fractals

fractal, Benoit Mandelbrot, Art and Mathematics, French mathematician

The Mathematical Fascination of Fractals

Have you noticed those bright, interesting and beautiful shapes that look like a piece of abstract art, but are actually created using very high-level mathematics? The integration of the beauty and creativity of science, math and art through an object or quantity, displaying self-similarity on all scales is called a fractal.

In 1975, Benoit Mandelbrot, a French mathematician coined the word fractal because he thought these geometric figures looked fractured or broken up. Complex systems through applied mathematics give a fractal dimension that usually exceeds its topological dimension. The same type of structure must appear on all scales of the fractal, although the object does not need to be the same at all scales.

Learn more about these beautiful objects of mathematical and scientific art and check out The Fractal Foundation.

“I find the ideas in the fractals, both as a body of knowledge and as a metaphor, an incredibly important way of looking at the world.”
– Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, New York Times, Wednesday, June 21, 2000, discussing some of the “big think” questions that intrigue him.

Fractal, Pinterest Fractal Board, Math and Art, Fractal Art


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