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Fractals: A Very Short Introduction

Popular Science
  • An essential topic of study for mathematics students
  • Looks at the historical roots of fractal theory
  • Explains the basic concepts of fractal geometry with the minimum of mathematics
  • Helps explain the concepts by illustrating a number of different fractals
  • Examines a wide range of the applications across the sciences, and in aspects of economics

Series: Very Short Introduction Series (VSI) Volume: 367

By: Kenneth Falconer(Author)

152 pages, 44 b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Sep 2013 | #218983 | ISBN-13: 9780199675982
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £7.99 $11/€9 approx

About this book

Many are familiar with the beauty and ubiquity of fractal forms within nature. Unlike the study of smooth forms such as spheres, fractal geometry describes more familiar shapes and patterns, such as the complex contours of coastlines, the outlines of clouds, and the branching of trees. In this Very Short Introduction, Kenneth Falconer looks at the roots of the 'fractal revolution' that occurred in mathematics in the 20th century, presents the 'new geometry' of fractals, explains the basic concepts, and explores the wide range of applications in science, and in aspects of economics. This is essential introductory reading for students of mathematics and science, and those interested in popular science and mathematics.

"[A] very well-written introduction to fractals for non-specialists [...] Highly recommended."



1. The fractal concept
2. Self-similarity
3. Fractal dimension
4. Julia sets and the Mandelbrot set
5. Random walks and Brownian motion
6. Fractals in the real world
7. A little history

Further reading

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Kenneth Falconer is Professor of Pure Mathematics at St Andrews University. He has published many papers on fractal geometry, and three books on the topic, including Fractal Geometry: Mathematical Foundations and Applications (Wiley-Blackwell).

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