Self-Similar Dinner

Eventually, although a bit over-priced in the Hollywood farmer’s market, I do fall for these at least once in the season. As someone whose job and pastimes involve seeing patterns everywhere, how can I not love the romanesco? It’s a fractal! There are structures that repeat themselves on different scales again and again, which is the root of the term “self-similar”. Fractals are wonderful structures in mathematics (that have self-similarity) that I urge you to find out more about if you don’t already know (just google and follow your nose). And yes, this one happens to be edible. Here’s a wider shot, so you can see the bigger shapes reflect the smaller shapes in the first photo:


Once you learn what fractals are, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. The universe is a wonderful thing, full of realisations of some of the most lovely mathematics… sometimes right under our noses*.


*Or, if you prefer, mathematics is a wonderful thing, full of encapsulations of lovely things that can be found out in the universe…

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3 Responses to Self-Similar Dinner

  1. Dilaton says:

    Hi Clifford,

    self-similar dinner, LOL :-)!
    Is it also conformally invariant …?

    We just yesterday had a very short discussion about conformal/scale invariant fixed points here (will have to print out the paper I got the link to).

    BTW (I hope this is not to spamy) maybe you and some readers of your site are interested in our new higher-level physics Q&A site?

    It is meant to be some kind of a physics brother of MathOverflow (and more), and you can read more about it in the short announcement wit did on MathOverflow