Harter-Heighway Dragon
From Math Images
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{{Image Description | {{Image Description | ||
- | |ImageName=Harter-Heighway Dragon Curve | + | |ImageName=Harter-Heighway Dragon Curve |
|Image=DragonCurve.jpg | |Image=DragonCurve.jpg | ||
|ImageIntro=This image is an artistic rendering of the Harter-Heighway Curve (also called the Dragon Curve), which is a fractal. This curve is an iterated function system and is often referred to as the Jurassic Park Curve, because it garnered popularity after being drawn and alluded to in the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990). | |ImageIntro=This image is an artistic rendering of the Harter-Heighway Curve (also called the Dragon Curve), which is a fractal. This curve is an iterated function system and is often referred to as the Jurassic Park Curve, because it garnered popularity after being drawn and alluded to in the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990). | ||
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+ | This fractal is described by a curve that undergoes a repetitive process (called an [[Iterated Functions|iterated process]]). To begin the process, the curve has a basic segment of a straight line. | ||
+ | Then at each iteration: | ||
+ | :*Each line is replaced with two line segments at an angle of 90 degrees (other angles can be used to make fractals that look slightly different) | ||
+ | :*Each line is rotated alternatively to the left or to the right of the line it is replacing | ||
- | + | [[Image:DragonCurve_Construction.png|900px|thumb|Base Segment and First 5 iterations of the Harter-Heighway Curve|center]] | |
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[[Image:DragonCurve_int15.gif|thumb|200px|right|15th iteration]] | [[Image:DragonCurve_int15.gif|thumb|200px|right|15th iteration]] | ||
- | The Harter-Heighway Dragon is created by iteration of the curve process described above. This process can be repeated infinitely, and the perimeter of the dragon is in fact infinite. However, if you look to the image at the right, a 15th iteration of the Harter-Heighway Dragon is already enough to create an impressive fractal. | + | The Harter-Heighway Dragon is created by iteration of the curve process described above. This process can be repeated infinitely, and the perimeter or length of the dragon is in fact infinite. However, if you look to the image at the right, a 15th iteration of the Harter-Heighway Dragon is already enough to create an impressive fractal. |
- | An interesting property of this curve is that the curve never crosses itself. Also, the curve exhibits ''self-similarity'' because as you look closer and closer at the curve, the curve continues to look like the larger curve. | + | An interesting property of this curve is that the curve never crosses itself. Although the corners of the fractal seem to touch at various points, the curve never actually crosses over itself. Also, the curve exhibits ''self-similarity'' when iterated infinitely, because as you look closer and closer at the curve, the curve continues to look like the larger curve. |
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==Properties== | ==Properties== | ||
{{Hide|1= | {{Hide|1= | ||
- | + | ===Perimeter=== | |
- | [[Image:DragonCurve_basic.png| | + | {{hide|1= |
+ | [[Image:DragonCurve_basic.png|thumb|right|1st iteration of the Harter-Heighway Dragon]] | ||
The perimeter of the Harter-Heighway curve increases by a factor of <math>\sqrt{2}</math> for each iteration. | The perimeter of the Harter-Heighway curve increases by a factor of <math>\sqrt{2}</math> for each iteration. | ||
- | For example, if you look at the picture to the | + | For example, if you look at the picture to the right, the straight red line shows the fractal as its base segment and the black crooked line shows the fractal at its first iteration. |
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If the first iteration is split up into two isosceles triangles, the ratio of the first iteration over the base segment is: <math>\frac{s\sqrt{2} + s\sqrt{2}}{s + s} = \frac{2s\sqrt{2}}{2s} = \sqrt{2}</math> | If the first iteration is split up into two isosceles triangles, the ratio of the first iteration over the base segment is: <math>\frac{s\sqrt{2} + s\sqrt{2}}{s + s} = \frac{2s\sqrt{2}}{2s} = \sqrt{2}</math> | ||
}} | }} | ||
- | + | ===Number of Sides=== | |
- | + | {{hide|1= | |
- | [[Image:DragonCurve_Sides.png| | + | [[Image:DragonCurve_Sides.png|900px|center]] |
The number of sides (<math>N_k</math>) of the Harter-Heighway curve for any degree of iteration (''k'') is given by <math>N_k = 2^k\,</math>, where the "sides" of the curve refer to alternating slanted lines of the fractal. | The number of sides (<math>N_k</math>) of the Harter-Heighway curve for any degree of iteration (''k'') is given by <math>N_k = 2^k\,</math>, where the "sides" of the curve refer to alternating slanted lines of the fractal. | ||
- | For example, the third iteration of this curve should have a total number of sides <math>N_3 = 2^3 = 8\,</math> | + | For example, the third iteration of this curve should have a total number of sides <math>N_3 = 2^3 = 8\,</math>. |
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+ | ===Fractal Dimension=== | ||
+ | {{hide|1= | ||
+ | The [[Fractal Dimension]] of the Harter-Heighway Curve can also be calculated using the equation: <math>\frac{logN}{loge}</math>. | ||
- | + | Let us use the second iteration of the curve as seen below to calculate the fractal dimension. | |
- | [[Image: | + | [[Image:DragonCurveDimension1.png|center]] |
- | + | There are two new curves that arise during the iteration so that <math>N = 2\,</math>. | |
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+ | Also, the ratio of the lengths of each new curve to the old curve is: <math>\frac{4(s\sqrt{2})}{4(s)} = \sqrt{2} </math>, so that <math>e = \sqrt{2}</math>. | ||
Thus, the fractal dimension is <math>\frac{logN}{loge} = \frac{log2}{log\sqrt{2}} = 2 </math>, and it is a space-filling curve. | Thus, the fractal dimension is <math>\frac{logN}{loge} = \frac{log2}{log\sqrt{2}} = 2 </math>, and it is a space-filling curve. | ||
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Revision as of 15:20, 1 July 2009
- This image is an artistic rendering of the Harter-Heighway Curve (also called the Dragon Curve), which is a fractal. This curve is an iterated function system and is often referred to as the Jurassic Park Curve, because it garnered popularity after being drawn and alluded to in the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990).
Harter-Heighway Dragon Curve |
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Contents |
Basic Description
This fractal is described by a curve that undergoes a repetitive process (called an iterated process). To begin the process, the curve has a basic segment of a straight line.Then at each iteration:
- Each line is replaced with two line segments at an angle of 90 degrees (other angles can be used to make fractals that look slightly different)
- Each line is rotated alternatively to the left or to the right of the line it is replacing
The Harter-Heighway Dragon is created by iteration of the curve process described above. This process can be repeated infinitely, and the perimeter or length of the dragon is in fact infinite. However, if you look to the image at the right, a 15th iteration of the Harter-Heighway Dragon is already enough to create an impressive fractal.
An interesting property of this curve is that the curve never crosses itself. Although the corners of the fractal seem to touch at various points, the curve never actually crosses over itself. Also, the curve exhibits self-similarity when iterated infinitely, because as you look closer and closer at the curve, the curve continues to look like the larger curve.
A More Mathematical Explanation
- Note: understanding of this explanation requires: *Algebra
Properties
Changing the Angle
Teaching Materials
- There are currently no teaching materials for this page. Add teaching materials.
About the Creator of this Image
SolKoll is interested in fractals, and created this image using an iterated function system (IFS).
References
Wikipedia, Wikipedia's Dragon Curve page Cynthia Lanius, Cynthia Lanius' Fractals Unit: A Jurassic Park Fractal
Future Directions for this Page
- An animation for the showing the fractal being drawn gradually through increasing iterations
Leave a message on the discussion page by clicking the 'discussion' tab at the top of this image page.