Threatened by the idea that we may someday run out of cat photos, a couple of Cornell mathematicians have set about using their skills to approximate the shape of a cat using a mathematic device known as the Julia sets of polynomials. The Julia sets of degree two polynomials is closely related to the more familiar Mandelbrot set, one of the most famous fractals.
There’s a lot of serious math involved in this that we’re not going to get into here (you can dig into that via grad student Kathryn Lindsey and advisor William Thurston’s paper), but know this: thanks to these fractal kitties, we won’t be reaching “peak cat” anytime soon.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.