Mandelbrot fractal applet
Fractals are patterns that exhibit self similarity, i.e. a small section of it looks similar to the whole pattern. Even a very simple mathematical function can be used to create a fractal pattern of infinite detail. Fractals are also seen to occur natrually, classic examples are coastlines and fern leaves.
(you will need Java installed in order to view the applet)
This complex fractal pattern is based on the simple iteration:
Z = Z2 + C
Where C is a complex number obtained by the position of the pixel, with the horizontal axis being real, and the vertical axis imaginary. The iteration is performed for each pixel, and its color is decided based on the rate at which the value goes to infinity. The white region in the center is where the iteration does not go to infinity, this is the Mandelbrot set.
You can zoom in by clicking and dragging a rectangle. Zoom into a region on the edge of the central area to see its infinite perimiter. A single click will zoom out.
Download source code