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Fractals, Chaos, and Control Systems on Rails


How did we get here? Chaos vs God

Posted by Harry Seldon on January 18, 2010

I love the description given by the BBC for their documentary “The Secret Life of Chaos” (which you can watch here).
As I have written a few articles about fractals, chaos and controls lately, I have added links internal to this blog to the text.

“Chaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand. It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia - how did we get here?

In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science -

  • how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life?
  • How does order emerge from disorder?

It’s a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God, it is in fact an intrinsic part of the laws of physics.

Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern. The natural world is full of awe-inspiring examples of the way nature transforms simplicity into complexity. From trees to clouds to humans - after watching this film you’ll never be able to look at the world in the same way again.”

Notice that this introduction can be sum up by “Chaos vs God” or “Chaotical Design vs Intelligent Design”. However, anyway, one question remains: who created the laws of physics? Or how were created these laws of Physics, if you prefer ;-)

I have often privately said that James Gleick’s Chaos book gives clearer answers than the Bible about our world. Now is the time to say it publicly!

Enjoy the documentary!

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The Secret Life of Chaos (BBC 2010)

Posted by Harry Seldon on January 18, 2010

The BBC aired on Thursday, January 14th an excellent documentary about Chaos, Fractals and Nature. You can watch it right here thanks to YouTube. If you are in UK you can also watch it on the BBC website at this address.

I am glad the BBC helps making these subjects popular and fashionnable more than 20 years after James Gleick’s Chaos book.

Part 1

All parts follow.

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The fractal Google logo

Posted by Harry Seldon on January 14, 2010

Thx Pixgeeks for reminding me of this nice Google logo involving fractals.


It was in memoriam to Gaston Julia’s Birthday.

In case I need to precise, the fractals you see on the logo are called Julia sets because the French mathematician Gaston Julia described them first. However, most of my readers already know that, right? ;-)

To say something only initiated people can understand: “The Mandelbrot set contains all Julia sets”. (That is why the fractal on the left is actually the Mandelbrot set.)

You can check all google logos here.

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Winter is the enchanting fractal season: Snow and Naked Trees

Posted by Harry Seldon on January 10, 2010

You probably already know that the snowflake and the tree branches are the canonical examples of fractals.

So, as in Paris we have the chance to have currently a lot of snow, I went to the “Parc de Sceaux” to make these wonderful pictures.
I only regret the sky was not as blue as in Normandy.

Children making a snow battle under a magnificient fractal tree.

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Happy new fractal year!

Posted by Harry Seldon on January 10, 2010

Picture showing the fractal invariance of scale in a tree. Background is the Battle of Normandy (D-Day) Memorial, in memoriam to the allied forces who liberated Europe from the Nazi yoke, Caen, France.

I wish you to have all your wishes realized. But to be a little more accurate, I actually wish you to precisely know what you want and wish. Because wishes have a much better chance of becoming true if you can clearly formulate them.

That-is-to-say, in order to clearly know what you want, and how you can get it, you will need:

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