Fractal, short for fractional dimension, is a geometric pattern that repeats itself at every smaller scale to produce patterns. It cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.

Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.

*Fractal mountains touching fractal clouds... fractal trees
glimmering in the fractal light of the fractal moon... and
fractal snowflakes fractally falling onto the fractal ground.*

Fractals are used for have both scientific and practical applications. In theoretical physics they are closely associated with chaos and prechaotic conditions. Chaos is the irregular unpredictable behavior of a dynamic system. Fractals are studied in practically every science. The mystic nature of fractals makes us think that they can be used for many other still unknown purposes. Barnsley successfully applied them to image compression.

Benoit B. Mandelbrot is French mathematician who developed
fractal geometry as a separate field of mathematics. He was often
called *The Father of Fractals*.

Last Updated: March 12, 1998.