WHAT IS IT?
It has been called the most complex object known to man. It has been hailed as the
most beautiful mathematical object there is.
I am not a mathematician, but I'm married to one! As a lay person, I am captivated by this
fractal object. If you want an in depth explanation of what the Mandelbrot set is, take a
few minutes to surf the web, or pick up a book on Chaos.
In a nutshell, the Mandelbrot set is the result of a fairly simple mathematical function
that was iterated on a mainframe computer in the 1970s, by Benoit Mandelbrot. The
resulting image looks like a bug or ink blot. When magnified at different scales, the
images start to resemble the parent image.
I've done a bit of reading on this, but I will probably never be
able to truly understand it in mathematical terms. I can appreciate it however as an
object of immense fascination. Hope you will too!
How this applet works
This applet displays the Mandelbrot fractal set. Clicking on
the image will zoom in. The "Options" bar allows you to change the maximum
number of iterations, reset the image, or get help information. This applet illustrates
how an image can be periodically updated while it is being computed.
Performance hints: the lower the maximum number of iterations, the faster the computation.
Also, the black region (the Mandelbrot set itself) is the slowest to compute, so if you
zoom includes a lot of it, computation will be slow.
Appletę Ken Shirriff: firstname.lastname@example.org