First article about the Mandelbrot Set available online

Back in 1985 A.K.Dewdney published an article about the Mandelbrot Set in his Computer Recreations column in Scientific American that helped kick off the Mandelbrot mayhem.

As a tribute to Mandelbrot after his death the article is now available as a PDF on their website. Click the following image to access the page.

Scientific American Cover.

The ads for the super high power computers of the time are almost as enjoyable as the main article to read.


Cellular Automata Music

Here is a sample of the new CA music I have been experimenting with that is now included in Visions Of Chaos.

Inspired by this page describing WolframTones.

Take a middle “strip” of a running CA (the orange line in the above video) and map it to a scale of notes.

The cellular automata is a “Next Nearest Neighbor Cellular Automata” as described in this paper by Wentian Li.


Looking way way back into the past

If you are not a regular reader of Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog and the Universe Today blog you should be.

This image (courtesy of the Bad Astronomer Phil Plait) shows an arrow pointing to one of the earliest galaxies ever formed in the universe.

See here for the official press release.

Most people consider the speed of light to be instantly fast. Even our own solar system shows light speed is far from instant. When you look at the moon you are seeing it as it was approximately 1.3 seconds ago. When you look at Saturn through a telescope you are seeing how it was approximately 80 minutes ago. The further you look away into space the further back in time you are seeing.

On the universal scale the distance to the moon and Saturn are nothing. The indicated dot in the above image is 13.1 billion light years away. Meaning the “gleam” from it took 13.1 billion years to reach us. According to all the recent measurements, our universe is around 13.7 billion years old. So that allows us to look back in time to when the universe (and the smudge) was “only” 600 million years old.

Awesome science.


RIP Benoit Mandelbrot

Benoit Mandelbrot, the “father of fractals” is dead at 85.

Here is a recent video of a presentation Mandelbrot gave at TED.

Mandelbrot (I feel I should refer to him in the first person “Benoit” as even though I never corresponded with him or met him, I thought of him as someone who had a similar mindset and someone I would have loved to bump into and have a chat with over a few beers one day). His seminal book may not be the easiest read, but should be on the shelf of any fractal enthusiast. He always had a very humble and humerous side to him (as the TED video above will show). He will be greatly missed. Thankfully his legacy will live on and be explored and extended for many years to come.

There are a bunch of interviews with him (as PDF downloads) on his Yale page here to give a deeper insight into his life.

Initial images of the Mandelbrot Set is what got me (and I am sure countless others) interested in fractals. Without those first glimpses Visions Of Chaos would not exist or be nowhere near what it is today.

Click the following image to see my gallery of a small sample of what is to be discovered in the Mandelbrot Set.

Also, here is a sample movie with some zooms into the Mandelbrot Set that shows the infinite structure his simple z=z^2+c formula can produce.