The "Mandelbrot Set"

A fractal is a geometric object which is rough or irregular on all scales of length, and so which appears to be 'broken up' in a radical way. Some of the best examples can be divided into parts, each of which is similar to the original object. Fractals are said to possess infinite detail and some of them have a selfsimilar structure that occurs at different levels of magnification. In many cases, a fractal can be generated by a repeating pattern, in a typically recursive or iterative process. The term fractal was coined in 1975 by Benoît Mandelbrot, from the Latin fractus or "broken". Before Mandelbrot coined his term, the common name for such structures (the Koch snowflake, for example) was "Monster Curve".
Fractals of many kinds were originally studied as mathematical objects and Fractal Geometry is the branch of mathematics which studies the properties and behaviour of fractals. It describes many situations which cannot be explained easily by classical geometry, and has often been applied in science, technology, and computergenerated art. The conceptual roots of fractals can be traced to attempts to measure the size of objects for which traditional definitions based on Euclidean geometry or calculus fail.

