Scientific American  

Robert P. Munafo, 2008 Feb 1.



A. K. Dewdney

Computer Recreations — A computer microscope zooms in for a look at the most complex object in mathematics. Scientific American vol. 253, no. 2 (August 1985), p. 16 (ISSN 0036-8733)

Due to the Mandelbrot set image on the cover and the fairly broad exposure of the magazine, this article is fairly completely responsible for all Mandelbrot set activity beyond the few dozen mathematicians and computer scientists who had explored it up to that point. (Images of the Mandelbrot set under the lambda map appeared in Byte magazine a year earlier, but no instructions were given regarding how to plot it.) The Scientific American cover looked roughly like this:

_ _ _ ___ _ _ ___ _ ___ _ _ (_` / ` | |_ |\ | | | |_ | / ` , ) \ , | | | \| | | | | \ , ^ ^ ^ ^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ _ _ _ ___ __ _ _ _ _ _ / \ |\/| |_ |_) | / ` / \ |\ | |^| | | | | \ | \ , |^| | \| ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ +------------------------------------------------------------+ | _,d*Y^%, . _ | | ^ aa($', :_m(\\]L,:_c | | 'd"-Y;. '",''*'Cb_(e- .,_ | | ^^ "@'$/v@` '-"/F\% '*C^ | | ^ ' `@dee-:F.\ . ._ | | -*m%-'*m@("L, _d)m]@ | | ._d@-^^` .@^_/""` | | -a*TLa_.C"` ^^]b_, | | _a_, .am$@^$@)r .__ -(b@` | | ^%@,-/""^"Y^Y@*c *'m@@@*^._a,_ | | ^YYmF` '^ad@@m mamF^_- /Lc"` | | -m_. ._:*YT@bmd(dbd@m$@) | | .am/F^ .e__., . ._ ^^` -""$@@@$`:L'.___, | | .m@r .__va_^^Ym@b$m,v%_ammm/-m@@@%L"@(@aedb"* | |/,- 'YmaF"@(@$d@F@@b@*__-"Y*@@@bm@@F^/_/^Y@@b^ | |@F__ ` .d@^*.d@@L@ed@@e"@F"^^'@@ad)"'` __. | |@)de '`.a~@@F^*@F""***L, .@@@@F._, -(^YLr | |^**" am- -a .md@@Ld@)- ^-Y@CmC.d)m_m@, ^ | |@@^_ ^bm:,, '@a*Y*T@F*" "@FL'$@@$@\m | |@Y,^mmd@@@a,_ _.a@@@` '"@be@@@@% | |b/@md@F"@@(/@a,'""Y@m ]em@**"@- _,., | |'^'**` _$@$@F@@m_'"Yb, :@\@dm*- _dd@m) | | ^`'**^*FmLF@, am@F@F^ 'Ybve_, | | ^^^"-__ ..addF*^` m-- ._@@ca- | | -vmmbC^^m_]C,_a@Le,:b_mbd@d@Cm| +------------------------------------------------------------+ EXPLORING THE MANDELBROT SET $2.50 August 1985

Here is a better view of the image (rendered with the Distance Estimator algorithm and showing contour lines):


-0.9189 + 0.2646 i  0.0625
-0.9189 + 0.2646 i @ 0.0625


The prominent island is R2.1/2F(1/5B1)S, the 24th-largest island mu-molecule.


revisions: 20080201 oldest on record; 20110729 add link to article on SciAm website




From the Mandelbrot Set Glossary and Encyclopedia, by Robert Munafo, (c) 1987-2017.     Mu-ency index


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