visual guide to fractal
geometry and design" (ISBN 0955706831) is scheduled for publication on 18th January 2011.
It's almost a visual
encyclopedia of the subject – it doesn't mention "chaos" fractals, and
concentrates on variations one step beyond the usual textbook examples. If you want a nice selection or 2D
and 3D reference images, an explanation of how the Julia Set works in
four dimensions, tables of "complex conjugate" Julia sets, or
illustrations of some fractal types that are so obscure that
they probably haven't made it into print before, then this might be for
you. Regardless of who you are, there's probably a fractal type
somewhere in this book that you haven't seen before. It also covers
most of the "standards", like the Mandelbrot Set, Menger Sponge and
Sierpinksi Triangle, in order to go beyond them.
Where a class of fractal isn't covered by
Alt.Fractals, it's usually because it was felt that the subject was
already dealt with adequately in the standard texts (or
online), and there didn't seem to be anything sufficiently new or
"alternative" to say about it.
Absolutely hundreds of
very pretty pictures and diagrams, all in glorious monochrome
(okay, "black and white").
second book, "The
Abyss of Time: an architect's history of the Golden Section"
was a monograph by Martin Hutchinson on the possible relationships
between the Fibonacci Series, ancient architectural methods, and
systems of weights and measures. Some of the content is a bit "1973",
because that's when it was written. Have you ever wondered why the old
systems of weights and measures included a prime number, thirteen?
Hutchinson suggests that it may be because people were using
the Fibonacci system to mark up floorplans and weigh out groceries.
Fibonacci units are based on addition, so they're convenient
for primitive societies whose
tradespeople aren't mathematically literate enough to
be comfortable with multiplication, or who don't necessarily have a
fuill set of reference weights to hand. The Fibonacci
Series (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 ...) includes a thirteen, hence the
old thirteen-inch foot and the Baker's Dozen.
Perhaps not a hugely populist book, so aimed
more at the reference libraries.
Spacetime" (ISBN 955706807) is
available from most booksellers priced at
£10-00 in the UK, and $15-00 in the US for the paperback.
The hardback version is priced at £15-00
in the UK, and $40-00 in the US.
Clarion Reviews gives it five stars, as does BookReview.com .
It's an oversized-format book (234*156mm),
nearly 400 pages, with over 200 b&w diagrams and illustrations.
The first four chapters cover the basics of
spacetime curvature and relativity theory, in an easily-accessible
form. The rest of the book gets more technical, but should still be
accessible to the sort of person who likes TV science
programmes such as "Horizon". The strict chaptering system
means that it's
easy to skip over any sections that you aren't interested in,
without getting lost. We think that there's
several booksworth of information here, and if you
don't want to
read a particular chapter, you can always flip through and look at the
This is the book for anyone who
bought Stephen Hawking's
"Brief History of Time" in the hope of learning a bit about cosmology
or relativity theory, and never got past page three.
The author's site, with thumbnail
previews and a graphical table
of contents, is here.