Fractals and Cosmological Large-Scale Structure

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Science  24 Apr 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5056, pp. 513-515
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5056.513


Observations of galaxy-galaxy and cluster-cluster correlations as well as other large-scale structure can be fit with a "limited" fractal with dimension D ≈ 1.2. This is not a "pure" fractal out to the horizon: the distribution shifts from power law to random behavior at some large scale. If the observed patterns and structures are formed through an aggregation growth process, the fractal dimension D can serve as an interesting constraint on the properties of the stochastic motion responsible for limiting the fractal structure. In particular, it is found that the observed fractal should have grown from two-dimensional sheetlike objects such as pancakes, domain walls, or string wakes. This result is generic and does not depend on the details of the growth process.