Fractals: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199675982

Kenneth J. Falconer
152 Pages
115 x 170 mm
Pub date
Sep 2013
Very Short Introductions


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  • 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

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.

"Fractals: A Very Short Introduction is an obvious starting point for lay readers interested in fractals. It presents the key ideas and explains their context and significance, while introducing and using some very basic mathematics." - Danny Yee's Book Reviews

"a most enjoyable, 'short read'" - Institute of Mathematics

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


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

About the author: 

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).

From the contours of coastlines to the outlines of clouds, fractal shapes can be found regularly in nature. In this Very Short Introduction, Kenneth Falconer explains the basic concepts, presents the 'new geometry' of fractals, explores its wide range of applications, and shows the central place fractals have gained in mathematics and science in recent years.


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