**What is a fractal? (precisely)**

It's hard to be precise! Like a biologists definition of life, a single definition doesn't capture all the important qualities.

It's a new word (c. 1975) and even those who know the word may have a hard time explaining it.

Which words does *fractal* sound like, or look like?

**fraction, fracture: the broken edge of a twig or rock is rough and
irregular**

Fractals provides a way to quantify the roughness of a surface and generally have:

- detailed structure
- self-similarity in some sense
- simple formula, usually recursive

How does this definition look?

What happens if we zoom in to the Mandelbrot set? (Courtesy of Eric Schol)

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