Monday, June 20, 2011

Fibonacci and Fractal

Fibonacci and Fractal by andiwolfe
Fibonacci and Fractal, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.
Nature uses repeating motifs and spirals. We live in a fractal universe. Fractals are interesting from a mathematical perspective and there are a lot of really interesting websites and videos posted about them. One has only to look at patterns seen in plant structures, animal coloration patterns, cellular features, and the like to see how prevalent fractals are in nature. 

This photo is of a tree fern frond that is opening.  The type of pattern here is called circinate vernation (specific botanical term for fern fronds), and the spiral pattern is similar to what one sees in a carved fiddle head.  Thus, fern fronds that are emerging are also know as fiddle heads.  This particular tree fern is at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa.

Here are some sites to check out to learn more about fractals:

Wikipedia article about fractals

Fractal Geometry site at Yale University

17 captivating fractals found in nature

Fractal zoom video:

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