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# Founder of Fractal Geometry – Benoit Mandelbrot
Fractal geometry is, like all other forms of geometry, the mathematics of size, shape and special relationships. The point where it differs from the Euclidean geometry is that it deals with shapes that are infinitely irregular.
The term "fractal" was coined by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975. It is derived from the Latin word fractus , meaning an irregular surface like that of a broken stone. Fractals are non-regular geometric shapes that have the same degree of non-regularity on all scales.
A fractal is a complex shape which, when viewed in finer and finer detail, shows itself to be constructed of ever smaller parts, similar to the original. Just as a stone at the base of a foothill can resemble in miniature the mountain from which it originally tumbled down, so are fractals self-similar whether one looks at them from close up or very far away.
Clouds, snowflakes, mountains, ferns and many other naturally-occurring entities demonstrate fractals to mathematicians. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.
Fractal geometry has been applied to such diverse fields as the stock market, chemical industry, meteorology, and computer graphics. Fractals are also being used in schools as a visual aid to teaching math, and also in our popular culture as computer-generated surfaces for landscapes and planetary surfaces in the movie industry. |