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The Fractal Geometry of Nature Hardcover – 18 Nov 1982

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 460 pages
  • Publisher: W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd; Updated and Augmented edition (18 Nov. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716711869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716711865
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A rarity: a picture book of sophisticated contemporary research ideas in mathematics."--Douglas Hofstadter, author of "Godel, Escher, Bach"

About the Author

Benoit Mandelbrot is the Abraham Robinson Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University and IBM Fellow Emeritus at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jet Lagged TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover
"Why is geometry often described as "cold" and "dry"? One reason lies in its inability to describe the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree. Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line."

- Benoit B. Mandlebrot, from the Introduction.

This book is the manifesto that kick-started a whole new paradigm or way of looking at the world. It freed us from the tyranny of straight lines and perfect spheres and the whole gamut of smoothness.

How long is the coastline of Britain? This question cannot be satisfactorily answered by ruler and compass methods of measurement. Mandlebrot came up with something much more profound and yet universal. A theory of scaling that was unsuspected - beautifully revealed with the onset of computer graphics.

Nature is messy and ragged and jagged. Things do not flow smoothly and uniformly. Laminar flow usually takes place in the minds of physicists and only infrequently in practice. Nature retains Her "lofty aloofness" (As Einstein put it) to these trivial approaches at wooing Her. So something more subtle was required. Mandlebrot found that something, or gateway, to understanding Nature, with fractals.

And then the door began to open. And it's still in the process of opening even today at this late hour.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cito on 12 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Beauty and mathematics are often perceived as distant concepts by most people. The mathematically gifted would always refute such idea by stating that it is precisely elegance what guides many mathematical endeavors. Mandelbrot made it possible for fractal images to jump from obscure labs to the general knowledge. Many people since regard mathematics somehow with a different perspective.
Although the book requires some basic knowledge of math it is not difficult to follow. The extensive illustrations make it enjoyable even as a coffee-table decorative object.
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By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
A set for which the Hausdorff Besicovitch dimension strictly exceeds the topological dimension.

The definition of a fractal pretty much sets the tone for the book. There are mostly definitions and monochrome diagrams to explain the more classical fractals. The book does shows some practical geometric uses for fractals but I would not let it get anywhere near my Koch Curve.

I am not being kind to this book as there is a color section in the center. That shows "The Great Wave" by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-12849.) And an extensive reference section.

The book its self could easily be used as a text book for school.

Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]

An Eye For Fractals: A Graphic And Photographic Essay (Studies in Nonlinearity)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Assela on 18 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Mandelbrot is the person who introduced the fractal theory to the world in its present form. Many fields of science including geophysics have gained from fractals. However, this is not the book one should read to gain knowledge on the subject.
It is not an easily readable book. 1. It is not well-organized 2. It does not cover necessary things in detail 3. Frustratingly long in some parts. Instead the books: Feder, Fractals; Turcotte, Fractals and Chaos in Geology and Geophysics can be recommended.

Fractal geometry may be interesting as a historical book, after one gains a sufficient knowledge on fractals.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alun Williams VINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is really a collection of disparate, fascinating, and occasionally tendentious essays written over a long period by the man after whom the world's most famous fractal is named.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout, and since it is now quite old, many of the illustrations are beginning to acquire a period charm. It is perhaps a book that will be most appreciated by the (very) intelligent general reader: it is not the best starting point if one actually wants to learn how to construct fractals or perform computations relating to them. However, readers who learn from this book what Mandelbrot is trying to teach, will begin to see many aspects of the world in a new way.
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By mv on 2 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well written. Goes into detail and description and is easy to understand. It is very easy to reference.
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