Practical Application of Fractals-- Science Fair Ideas?

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Practical Application of Fractals-- Science Fair Ideas?

Postby orwellian99 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:40 pm

Hi,

I'm going to be a junior in the fall and the deadline for my science fair project is in late September. I recently watched a PBS documentary on fractals and additionally have done a lot of research on them and would love for the concept to be the topic for my science fair project. The problem is, I really want my science fair project to study fractals in their practical applications-- environmental science, antennas, DNA, etc.-- versus just as a mathematical concepts and I am completely stuck on coming up with ideas.

I know that in the documentary I watched, the researchers used fractals to predict the oxygen output of an entire rainforest based on one leaf. That seems very cool and a project like that would be great!

Are there any other practical applications of fractals that are viable science fair ideas? Obviously there are some great ones like how they're related to cancer prediction, but I don't see how that's possible to do as a project at home.

I just finished precalc and I am familiar with Java and other computer programming tools that may be needed for a more complicated project.

Thanks in advance!
orwellian99
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:31 pm
Occupation: Student: 11th Grade
Project Question: Fractal Related Studies
Project Due Date: September 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: Practical Application of Fractals-- Science Fair Ideas?

Postby dcnick96 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:33 pm

Hello. Congratulations on taking on a very interesting yet challenging topic. Fractals are everywhere...most people just don't realize. If you do a simple google search of "fractals practical applications," you will see many different practical applications.

One suggestion and probably the easiest for a science fair topic is to explore fractals in nature. You already alluded to this in your summary of the PBS program (I also saw the program...it was awesome!). But, why DO they exist in nature? On the surface, fractals seem like utter chaos. However, it actually increases the probably of survivability by providing efficient means for such processes as gas exchange and sunlight absorption.

Have you checked out this recommended topic on fractals?
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p013.shtml

Take a look. You could expand this project to explore fractals in nature, or whatever other practical application you find through your research. For my recommendation, a simple google search of "fractals in nature" provide several websites that will be a great start to your project.

Best of luck. Please don't hesitate to write back with further questions!
Deana
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