From Math Images
This image is one of many examples of Newton's Basin or Newton's Fractal. Newton's Basin is based on a calculus technique called Newton's Method, a procedure Newton developed to estimate roots (or solutions) of equations.
Each pixel in a Newton's Basin corresponds to a unique coordinate, or point. The colors in a Newton's Basin usually correspond to each individual root of the equation, and can be used to infer where each root is located. Each color region reflects the set of points, which, after undergoing iteration with the equation describing the fractal, will eventually get closer and closer to the value of the root associated with that color.
The animation emphasizes the roots in a Newton's Basin, whose equation clearly has three roots. The image featured at the top of this page is also a Newton's Basin with three roots.
A More Mathematical Explanation
- Note: understanding of this explanation requires: *Calculus
The image at the top of this page is a visual representation of Newton's Method in calculus expanded into the complex plane.
To produce an interesting fractal, the Newton Method needs to be extended to the complex plane. Newton's Basin is created using a complex polynomial, with real and/or complex roots. In addition, each root in a Newton's Basin fractal is usually given a distinctive color. Thus, the fractal on the right is generated by a polynomial with a total of five roots colored magenta, yellow, red, green, and blue.
Every pixel in the image represents a complex number. Each complex number is applied to the equation and iterated continually with the output of the previous iteration becoming the input of the next iteration. This iteration is done by using the same equations discussed in the previous Newton's method section, where x is now a complex number z, y is now a complex number p, and is the nth estimate:
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Simon Tatham, Fractals derived from Newton-Raphson iteration
David E. Joyce, Newton Basins
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