Archive-name: fractal-faq
Last-modified: Feb 17, 1994

The international computer network Usenet contains discussions on a variety of
topics.  The Usenet newsgroup "sci.fractals" is devoted to discussions on
fractals.  Since many common questions reoccur during the discussions, I have
compiled this "Frequently Asked Questions" file, consisting of questions and
answers contributed by many participants.  This file also lists various pro-
grams and papers that can be accessed over the Internet by using "anonymous
ftp".  This file is not intended as a general introduction to fractals, or a
set of rigorous definitions, but rather a useful summary from sci.fractals.

* As a new feature, the fractal FAQ has some links for use with the World Wide
Web.  It can be accessed with a program such as xmosaic at .
Please let me know if there are more links I should add.

The questions which are answered are:
Q1: I want to learn about fractals.  What should I read first?
Q2: What is a fractal? What are some examples of fractals?
Q3: What is chaos?
Q4a: What is fractal dimension? How is it calculated?
Q4b: What is topological dimension?
Q5: What is a strange attractor?
Q6a: What is the Mandelbrot set?
Q6b: How is the Mandelbrot set actually computed?
Q6c: Why do you start with z=0?
Q6d: What are the bounds of the Mandelbrot set?  When does it diverge?
Q6e: How can I speed up Mandelbrot set generation?
Q6f: What is the area of the Mandelbrot set?
Q6g: What can you say about the structure of the Mandelbrot set?
Q6h: Is the Mandelbrot set connected?
Q7a: What is the difference between the Mandelbrot set and a Julia set?
Q7b: What is the connection between the Mandelbrot set and Julia sets?
Q7c: How is a Julia set actually computed?
Q7d: What are some Julia set facts?
Q8a: How does complex arithmetic work?
Q8b: How does quaternion arithmetic work?
Q9: What is the logistic equation?
Q10: What is Feigenbaum's constant?
Q11a: What is an iterated function system (IFS)?
Q11b: What is the state of fractal compression?
Q12a: How can you make a chaotic oscillator?
Q12b: What are laboratory demonstrations of chaos?
*Q13: What are L-systems?
Q14: What is some information on fractal music?
Q15: How are fractal mountains generated?
Q16: What are plasma clouds?
Q17a: Where are the popular periodically-forced Lyapunov fractals described?
Q17b: What are Lyapunov exponents?
Q17c: How can Lyapunov exponents be calculated?
Q18: Where can I get fractal T-shirts and posters?
Q19: How can I take photos of fractals?
Q20: How can 3-D fractals be generated?
Q21a: What is Fractint?
Q21b: How does Fractint achieve its speed?
Q22: Where can I obtain software packages to generate fractals?
Q23a: How does anonymous ftp work?
Q23b: What if I can't use ftp to access files?
*Q24a: Where are fractal pictures archived?
Q24b: How do I view fractal pictures from
Q25: Where can I obtain fractal papers?
Q26: How can I join the BITNET fractal discussion?
Q27: What are some general references on fractals and chaos?

If you are viewing this file with a newsreaders such as "rn" or "trn", you can
search for a particular question by using "g^Q5" (that's lower-case g, up-
arrow, Q, and a number) where "5" is the question you wish.  Or you may browse
forward using <control-G> to search for a Subject: line.

This file is normally posted to the Usenet groups sci.fractals, news.answers,
and sci.answers about every two weeks.  Like most FAQs, the most recent copy
of this FAQ can be obtained over the Internet for free by "anonymous ftp" to []; it is in /pub/usenet/news.answers/fractal-faq.

I am happy to receive more information to add to this file.  Also, let me know
if you find mistakes.  Please send additions, comments, errors, etc. to Ken
Shirriff (shirriff@cs.Berkeley.EDU).

This file is Copyright 1993,1994 Ken Shirriff.  Permission is given for non-
profit distribution of this file, as long as the copyright notice and the list
of contributors remain attached.  However, I would like to be informed if you
distribute this file on other systems, so I have an idea of where it is.  Con-
tact me for more information on distribution.
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