An Optical Demonstration of Fractal Geometry

Billy C. Scannell, Ben Van Dusen and R.P. Taylor
Proceedings of Bridges 2009: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2009)
Pages 349–350 Short Papers


We have built a Sinai cube to illustrate and investigate the scaling properties that result by iterating chaotic trajectories into a well ordered system. We allow red, green and blue light to reflect off a mirrored sphere, which is contained in an otherwise, closed mirrored cube. The resulting images are modeled by ray tracing procedures and both sets of images undergo fractal analysis. We offer this as a novel demonstration of fractal geometry, utilizing the aesthetic appeal of these images to motivate an intuitive understanding of the resulting scaling plots and associated fractal dimensions.