"Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line." - Benoit Mandelbrot, introduction to The Fractal Geometry of Nature
Fractals are abundant in nature and may be found almost anywhere. A fractal is a persistent pattern that seems the same at every scale and repeats itself over time. There are many examples of fractals that we encounter in everyday life. A pineapple's growth follows fractal laws, and ice crystals form in similar patterns.
What is a Fractal?
A fractal is considered “a rough or fractured geometric form that may be split into sections, each of which is an approximate reduced-size replica of the whole,” as characterized by the property of self-similarity.
Features of Fractal
It is a never-ending pattern
It is a geometric pattern
It is a complex, self-similar pattern
What is the Significance of Fractals?
Among other things, fractals aid in understanding key scientific ideas such as how germs grow, how frozen water (snowflakes) is formed, and how the brain works. Several scientific advancements have been made possible by their formulations. Antennas for wireless mobile phones use fractals instead of basic antennas to pick up signals better and cover a wider frequency range. Anything having a rhythm or pattern has the potential to be fractal. Fractals allow plants to maximize their exposure to sunlight. They allow cardiovascular systems to efficiently transport oxygen to all parts of the body.
Examples of Fractals in Nature
Fractals are well-known in the natural world. The patterns of randomness in fractals may be seen everywhere, from seashells to spiral galaxies to the structure of human lungs. Branching fractals include trees, ferns, the neurons in our brains, the blood veins in our lungs, lightning bolts, rivers branching, as well as the shoreline and rock formations. The nautilus shell, meteorological patterns such as hurricanes, spiral galaxies, the spiral of pinecones, and sunflowers all include spiral fractals. Broccoli is a fine example. Every broccoli branch is identical to its parent stem.
Fractal properties can also be seen in clouds. The presence of turbulence in the atmosphere has an intriguing effect on how water particles interact with one another. Natural types of crystals can display fractal features. Some crystals seem more fractal than others, depending on the crystal structure and materials utilized.
The logic of shape, quantity, and order are central to math philosophy. Every element of our life is influenced by math. We rely on it for everything we do every day.