The term fractal, derived from the Latin word fractus (fragmented, or broken), was coined by the Polish-born mathematician Benoit B. Mandelbrot. A fractal is a repeating, never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. If you divide a fractal pattern into parts you get a nearly identical reduced size copy of the whole. Natural fractals include branching patterns like trees, river networks, lightening bolts, blood vessels etc. Fractals are geometric figures, just like rectangles, circles and squares, but fractals have special properties that those figures do not have.
Learn more about fractals with these worksheets. Developed by the Maths Week team for Junior Cycle students, they combine further information with exercises for a complete tutorial. Click the buttons below to download for the appropriate level.