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A fractal is a chaotic mathematic object which can be divided into parts, each of which is similar to the original object. Fractals are said to possess infinite detail, and are generally self-similar and independent of scale. In many cases a fractal can be generated by a repeating pattern, typically a recursive or iterative process. The term fractal was coined in 1975 by Benoît Mandelbrot, from the Latin fractus or "broken"/"fraction". Chaos theory, in mathematics and physics, deals with the behavior of certain nonlinear dynamical systems that (under certain conditions) exhibit the phenomenon known as chaos, most famously characterised by sensitivity to initial conditions. Systems that exhibit mathematical chaos are deterministic and thus orderly in some sense; this technical use of the word chaos is at odds with common parlance, which suggests complete disorder.


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