Research Articles

Particles Floating on a Moving Fluid: A Dynamically Comprehensible Physical Fractal

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Science  15 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5093, pp. 335-339
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5093.335


Measurements of the local dynamics on the surface of a fluid undergoing complicated motion allow prediction of the measured fractal dimension of an aggregate of passive, floating tracers. This realization of a strange attractor in physical space is a rare instance where there is a firm quantitative connection between the dimension of an experimentally observed fractal spatial pattern and the process producing it.