A fractal can be either a naturally-occurring phenomenon or a mathematical set. Fractals are repeating patterns that displays at every scale. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a self-similar pattern. Fractals are found in a widely diverse section of nature.
Scientist Tom Beddard got interested in the visually pleasing aspects of fractals during his work as a laser physicist. Going by the name subBlue and sing his WebGL-based fractal engine, Fractal Lab, he began creating what he calls Fabergé Fractals. There’s even a fractal app!
“The 3D fractals are generated by iterative formulas whereby the output of one iteration forms the input for the next. The formulas effectively fold, scale, rotate or flip space. They are truly fractal in the fact that more and more detail can be revealed the closer to the surface you travel. The fascinating aspect is where combinations of parameters can combine to create structural ‘resonances’ of extraordinary detail and beauty—sometimes naturally organic and other times perfectly geometric. But then like a chaotic system it can completely disappear with the smallest perturbation.” -Tom Beddard, Very Smart Person
In the interest of full disclosure, if forced at gunpoint to repeat the paragraph above, my response would be “Blah, blah, blah, science, beauty, blah, blah, fractal, and chaos will screw it up.” Okay, so I don’t know what he’s talking about. However, I find his art lovely and calming.
And speaking of things that go over my head, I don’t know what the video below means, but it is super-cool and very soothing.