In practice

So might wonder, where do science and art meet in the real world. Sure, we told you the story of Niels Bohr and his fascination with Cubism that eventually led to one of the most significant scientific theories to date. But aren’t there more practical and less theoretical points where the two meet?

On this page we want to present to you a subject of which we think is a decent example of a meeting between art and science. The goal of this website however, is to provide you exactly with these kind of examples. So we’d also like to refer you to our news section where you can find more relevant articles with topics ranging from design to artistic scientists and scientific artists.

The Mandelbrot Set

We’d like to start off with one of the most prominent and beautiful examples out there in which art and science simply seem part of one another. Before going into details, we’d like you take a moment and view the pictures below:

These are all images from the so called Mandelbrot Set. At first they may seem as some amazing forms of symmetric art where an artist put countless hours to perfect each shape, but the story behind them is much more interesting than that. The amazing images you see above here are all generated by a simple mathematical formula, and calculated by a computer, just like the one you are using right now.

Back in the 60′s and 70′s a mathematician called Benoit Mandelbrot was doing some interesting but highly difficult research into the world of complex numbers. We won’t go into much details about this, but what he found was a recursive formula that would eventually turn out to be one of the greatest ‘mysteries’ in the mathematical world.

The so called Mandelbrot Formula takes advantage of the computational power of our computers and displays some of the most amazing fractals making has ever seen. A fractal is a mathematical set that often displays self-similar patterns. It extents beyond simple self-similarity and include the idea of a detailed pattern repeating itself. In simpler terms, the images you see are numbers which are translated into pixels by the computer. The specific Mandelbrot fractal is a very special fractal, because it seems to go on beyond infinity. This means that you could ‘zoom into’ the fractal and keep finding new (but similar) patters forever. (watch the video below for a sense of clarification on this)

After watching the images and the video, we think it’s a lot easier to understand why we took the Mandelbrot Set as a fine example of something where art and science meet. The images and the thoughts that go through ones mind while traveling through ‘infinity’ can be seen as those of an artist, while the creation of the whole art is nothing but pure scientific reasoning and mathematical equations.