THE FRACTAL GEOMETRY OF NATURE

Benoit B. Mandelbrot

"[A] spectacular book loaded with beautiful illustrations from many fields of knowledge and graced by fascinating details about the lives of those who contributed to the subject.... This book is a "must" for all who delight in surveying the frontiers of knowledge."

-John Archibald Wheeler, American Journal of Physics, 1983

Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, and lightning does not travel in a straight line. The complexity of nature's shapes differs in kind, not merely degree, from that of the shapes of ordinary geometry. To describe such shapes, Benoit Mandelbrot conceived and developed a new geometry, the geometry of fractal shapes. His work is significant to fields whose diversity is suggested by the following reviews of Fractals: Form, Chance, and Dimension (W.H. Freeman and Company, 1977):

"Heartening and illuminating application of advanced mathematics to the beautiful, irregular enigmas of the world."

-Marc LeBrun, Co-Evolution Quarterly, Fall, 1977

"A rarity: a picture book of sophisticated contemporary research ideas in mathematics. Here, it concerns recursively defined curves and shapes, whose dimensionality is not a whole number. Amazingly, Mandelbrot shows their relevance to practically every branch of science."

-Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of Godel, Escher, Bach

"Written with daring originality .... I like people who write for glory and not just for money."

-I. J. Good, Journal of the American Statistical Association, June 1978

Now that the field has expanded greatly with many active researchers, Mandelbrot presents the definitive overview of the origins of his ideas and their new applications. The Fractal Geometry of Nature is based on his highly acclaimed earlier work, but has much broader and deeper coverage and more extensive illustrations.

Whether your interests lie in nature and its shapes, in art, science, or geometry itself, The Fractal Geometry of Nature will delight and inspire you.

Benoit B. Mandelbrot, an IBM Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and a Professor of Mathematics at Yale, has been hailed as "the father of fractals:" He belongs to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received the 1985 Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science and the 1986 Franklin Medal for Original and Eminent Service in Science. His research has concentrated on extreme and unpredictable irregularity in natural phenomena in the physical, social, and biological sciences.

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