Fractals, Chaos and the Mandelbrot Set Workshop - Chapter 4

The Four "Must See/Read" Resources!

NOVA - The Strange New Science of Chaos : PBS video
Scientists explain how the universe is being redefined by this new science. A series of computerized tests and lab experiments shows how the universe is, as one physicist notes, "filled with fluids in turbulent motion," from the smallest drops of water to the winds of a hurricane. Perhaps one of the best NOVA programs ever! Without question a "must see" for anyone interested in the subject. A superb overview, that covers all the bases. (1 hr.)

The Colours Of Infinity : Discovery Channel video
This program aired in the Arthur C. Clarke series, and it is excellent. It has interviews with Michael Barnsley, president of Iterated Function Systems of Georgia Tech, the mathematition Ian Stewart, and even Stephen Hawking! It emphasises the universality of the Mandelbrot Set, and has some very, very beautiful zooms into the Set. A good general introduction to the Mandelbrot Set, and very easy to watch. (1 hr.)

Turbulent Mirror, by John Briggs & F. David Peat - ISBN 0-06-016061-6, Harper & Row
No better introduction to this field could be found. Clearly and wittily argued and beautifully illustrated with over 120 drawings, photographs, and computer graphics, this book explores the many faces of chaos and reveals how its laws direct most of the familiar processes of everyday life, from out heartbeat and thoughts to the formation of clouds and storms. Briggs and Peat also demonstrate how chaos theory has encouraged a rethinking of some of the fundamental principles of scientific investigation. The now-famous chaos aphorism that the flutter of a butterfly's wing in Hong Kong can change the weather in New York is a dramatic illustration of what Briggs and Peat describe as an "emerging science of wholeness," a growing scientific appreciation for how everything in the universe is interconnected. Excellent, non-technical introduction to the entire field of chaos theory. The perfect book for anyone who wants to get and overview.

Chaos: The Making of a New Science, by James Gleick - ISBN 0-14-009250-1, Penguin Books
Chaos records the birth of a new science. This new science offers a way of seeing order and pattern where formerly only the random, erratic, the unpredictable- in short, the chaotic- had been observed. In the words of Douglas Hofstadter, "It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order- and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order." Although highly mathematical in origin, chaos is a science of the everyday world, addressing questions every child has wondered about: how clouds form, how smoke rises, how water eddies in a stream.