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Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension [Blu-ray]

2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Directors: Bill Jersey
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Public Broadcasting Service
  • Release Date: April 21 2009
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PQT39M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,019 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

What do movie special effects, the stock market, and heart attacks have in common? They are connected by a revolutionary new branch of math called fractals, which changed the way we see the world and opened up a vast new territory to scientific analysis and understanding. Meet the mathematicians who developed fractals from a mere curiosity to an approach that touches nearly every branch of understanding, including the fate of our universe.

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Most helpful customer reviews

By Nick McResoff on Oct. 18 2012
This is a very inspirational film. Whether traditional mathematicians love it or not. it highlights that the major breakthrough is only possible across the disciplines. Bravo!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Meagol on April 10 2012
boy did they miss the mark with this. I understand that the attempt is to popularize the beauty and usefulness of mathematics, and instill this notion that it goes beyond the tediousness of Calculus and Linear Algebra that comes to mind when the average person thinks of math. But to pump me up with the usefulness of fractals to deal with the real world where apparently "old" math fails and then show me ... SWEATERS designed by mathematicians... Really, you want mathematicians to take this seriously because of some truly hideous sweaters? To be fair, it does suggest REAL applications, though without driving home the point (we're told fractals should be looked at when measuring the coast of Britain, but not exactly how explicitly that helps). And the patronizing, "tree is a fractal" example, SHUT UP!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A new view of the world through Fractal glasses Oct. 8 2009
By B. Chandler - Published on
I was aware of Fractals in general as we all are. However this presentation takes it to new heights. We learn that it is more about math. We get to see how fractals are not only a part of nature but fractals actually have practical applications and potentials for future disciplines.

If you do not personally apply the information at least you will be fractal literate. Me, I am going to buy some of Benoit Mandelbrot's books. The first one mentioned in the DVD is out of print (rare). Then I was surprised to see that fractals were applied to woven fabrics. I wonder if there is a pattern book or if I will have to make my own drafts?

I only saw the Blu-ray version so I cannot compare. The pictures are crisp but not over enhanced. The rare, very few to nil, extras on the DVD as it is a direct copied of the NOVA program, including the sponsors.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just a hint at the Hidden Dimension June 16 2014
By Brian J. - Published on
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PBS does a very good job of showing and describing fractals, yet nowhere in the video did I hear the explanation of what the Mandelbrot Set _is_. How annoying: I wanted my girlfriend to hear it from someone besides me, instead she got the run-around; this DVD is all about the 3rd dimension and what self-similarity looks like.

Fractals are the graphed-solution to the equation (-1)^1/2 (square root of -1). There is no "correct" 3rd-dimensional answer to this question; there is no square root of any negative number. The Mandelbrot Set is the graphed set of potential solutions (black=nearness to 0, color=nearness to 1 or -1).

That fractals have any correlation to reality at all is PROOF of a 4th (or higher) dimension. D'uh. PBS just wasn't brave enough to show it or say it.

Otherwise, neat to see, but I wouldn't call what they do "hunting for"; it is more like "hinting at".

<<caveat - I haven't discussed fractals in 20 years, so might be better to do your own research>>
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Patterns You Don't see till Someone Tells You Dec 4 2009
By Trurl - Published on
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This is an excellent hour documentary that NOVA is known for. Everything is simply described. First you'll find out what the heck a fractal is. Then you learn its applications; from finding tumors; mapping the oxygen flow of a rainforest; weaving designs on shirts; and computer graphics. The computer graphics show how lava was simulated by fractal. That example is my favorite part of the entire video. The Blu-ray is a little pricey, but worth every cent. Besides you will be opened to another subject of mathematics much like when you first learn algebra, trigonometry, or calculus. Fractals are a subject of their own. Prepare for a "mind expanding" video. And at the same time help support PBS

y(x) = (3x^2) + (1/x) - 23
y(x) = (3.032x^2) + 0.757
Bend your mind and enjoy the patterns! Dec 11 2013
By DVD Addict - Published on
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I remember seeing this on PBS and I knew I had to have it on blueray. I was a mathematics major in college and this has twisted my mind (more than this awesome TA I had for a calc class). I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept, but most important is the really cool patterns! Just enjoy or use this as a jumping off point for further investigating and understanding!
Solid Intro Feb. 22 2013
By kfractal - Published on
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This is a good introduction to the topic. It's basically a survey and exposition on the early entry of fractal concepts into the realm of more mainline mathematics/physics.