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FRACTAL FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) ___________________________________________________________ ISSN Pending Volume 1 Number 1 February 13, 1995 ___________________________________________________________ (c) Copyright Ermel Stepp 1995 ___________________________________________________________ Introduction The international computer network Usenet contains discussions on a variety of topics. The Usenet newsgroup sci.fractals and the listserv forum frac-l are devoted to discussions on fractals. This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is an electronic serial compiled from questions and answers contributed by many participants in those discussions. This FAQ also lists various archives of programs, images, and papers that can be accessed through the global computer networks (WWW/Internet/BITNET) by using email, anonymous ftp, gophers, and World Wide Web browsers. This FAQ is not intended as a general introduction to fractals, or a set of rigorous definitions, but rather a useful summary of ideas, sources, and references. This FAQ is posted monthly to the Usenet groups sci.fractals, , , bit.listserv.frac-l and the listserv forum frac-l. Like most FAQs, it can be obtained free with a WWW browser or by anonymous ftp to ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/fractal-faq [126.96.36.199]; also, with a text-based browser, such as lynx, or anonymous ftp to: byrd.mu.wvnet.edu/pub/estepp/fracha/fractal.faq [188.8.131.52]. It can be retrieved by email to email@example.com with the message: send usenet/news.answers/fractal-faq The hypertext version of the Fractal FAQ has hyperlinks to sources on the World Wide Web. It can be accessed with a browser such as xmosaic at http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/fractal-faq/faq.html. Also, the hypertext version is online for review and comment at: http://www.marshall.edu/~stepp/fractal-faq/faq.html. Please suggest other links to add to the Fractal FAQ. For your information, the World Wide Web FAQ is available via: The WWW: http://sunsite.unc.edu/boutell/faq/www_faq.html Anonymous ftp: rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet/news.answers/www/faq Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (send usenet/news.answers/www/faq If you are viewing this file with a newsreader such as "rn" or "trn", you can search for a particular question by using "g^Qn" (that's lower-case g, up- arrow, Q, and n, the number of the question you wish). Or you may browse forward using <control-G> to search for a Subject: line. I am happy to receive more information to add to this file. Also, let me know if you find mistakes. Please send your comments and suggestions to Ermel Stepp (email: email@example.com). The questions which are answered are: Q1: I want to learn about fractals. What should I read first? Q2: What is a fractal? What are some examples of fractals? Q3: What is chaos? Q4a: What is fractal dimension? How is it calculated? Q4b: What is topological dimension? Q5: What is a strange attractor? Q6a: What is the Mandelbrot set? Q6b: How is the Mandelbrot set actually computed? Q6c: Why do you start with z=0? Q6d: What are the bounds of the Mandelbrot set? When does it diverge? Q6e: How can I speed up Mandelbrot set generation? Q6f: What is the area of the Mandelbrot set? Q6g: What can you say about the structure of the Mandelbrot set? Q6h: Is the Mandelbrot set connected? Q7a: What is the difference between the Mandelbrot set and a Julia set? Q7b: What is the connection between the Mandelbrot set and Julia sets? Q7c: How is a Julia set actually computed? Q7d: What are some Julia set facts? Q8a: How does complex arithmetic work? Q8b: How does quaternion arithmetic work? Q9: What is the logistic equation? Q10: What is Feigenbaum's constant? Q11a: What is an iterated function system (IFS)? Q11b: What is the state of fractal compression? Q12a: How can you make a chaotic oscillator? Q12b: What are laboratory demonstrations of chaos? Q13: What are L-systems? Q14: What is some information on fractal music? Q15: How are fractal mountains generated? Q16: What are plasma clouds? Q17a: Where are the popular periodically-forced Lyapunov fractals described? Q17b: What are Lyapunov exponents? Q17c: How can Lyapunov exponents be calculated? Q18: Where can I get fractal T-shirts and posters? Q19: How can I take photos of fractals? Q20: How can 3-D fractals be generated? Q21a: What is Fractint? Q21b: How does Fractint achieve its speed? Q22: Where can I obtain software packages to generate fractals? Q23a: How does anonymous ftp work? Q23b: What if I can't use ftp to access files? Q24a: Where are fractal pictures archived? Q24b: How do I view fractal pictures from alt.binaries.pictures.fractals? Q25: Where can I obtain fractal papers? Q26: How can I join the BITNET fractal discussion? Q27: What is complexity? Q28a: What are some general references on fractals and chaos? Q28b: What are some relevant journals? Q29: Are there any special notices? Q30: Who has contributed to the Fractal FAQ? Q31: Copyright?