Saturday, February 18, 2012

AC Film Festival: voyage into the Mandelbrot set

Many of you are familiar with the Mandelbrot set, I imagine. For those who are not, though, a couple of words: the set is the plotting of an iterative equation that results in a graph with the quality of self-similarity at different levels of magnification. What this means is that, no matter how close you get to it, no matter how small a portion of the plane you choose to study, it will maintain the same level of complexity. What this means is that, essentially, you can "zoom in" on it forever, and it will never resolve into simple homogenous areas. This video claims to be the deepest "zoom" into it yet.

I recommend viewing it in full screen mode (and preferably with the sound off, because, really, the chosen soundtrack adds nothing to the experience), getting really close to your screen so that it occupies all or most of your field of vision, and staring fixedly at the center of it for the duration of the clip. Trippy!

(found via Jim Woodring's Facebook page)

PS--also found via Jim, this neat, though more "representational" (of what?) variation:


  1. I hope I described the Mandelbrot set correctly (enough), Mathieu. You're the mathematician here--correct me if I was wrong.

    1. Your description is quite correct, actually, and it's better not to give too much details in these subjects. One could add that the Mandelbrot set is the black part shown, that it is "connected" (meaning that it is in "one piece", you can go from any black point to any other passing only through black points) and that the colors are related to the "escape rate to infinity" of the points under the iteration.


Please note that anonymous comments will be rejected.