# First Whirled Warp

Imagine two points moving clockwise around the circumference of a circle. Find the midpoint between the two points when one point is moving twice as fast as the other. The midpoint will trace this shape:

Midpoint of two points moving around circle at speeds s and s*2

(n.b. to make things easier to see, the red circle shown here and elsewhere is slightly larger than the virtual circle used to calculate the midpoints)

Now suppose that one point is moving anticlockwise. The midpoint will now trace this shape:

Midpoint for s, -s*2

Now try three points, two moving at the same speed and one moving twice as fast:

Midpoint for s, s, s*2

When the point moving twice as fast is moving anticlockwise, this shape appears:

Midpoint for s, s, -s*2

Here are more of these midpoint-shapes:

Midpoint for s, s*3

Midpoint for s, -s*3

Midpoint for s*2, s*3

Midpoint for s, -s, s*2

Midpoint for s, s*2, -s*2

Midpoint for s, s*2, s*2

Midpoint for s, -s*3, -s*5

Midpoint for s, s*2, s*3

Midpoint for s, s*2, -s*3

Midpoint for s, -s*3, s*5

Midpoint for s, s*3, s*5

Midpoint for s, s, s, s*3

Midpoint for s, s, s, -s*3

Midpoint for s, s, -s, s*3

Midpoint for s, s, -s, -s*3

But what about points moving around the perimeter of a polygon? Here are the midpoints of two points moving clockwise around the perimeter of a square, with one point moving twice as fast as the other:

Midpoint for square with s, s*2

And when one point moves anticlockwise:

Midpoint for square with s, -s*2

If you adjust the midpoints so that the square fills a circle, they look like this:

Midpoint for square with s, s*2, with square adjusted to fill circle

When the red circle is removed, the midpoint-shape is easier to see:

Midpoint for square with s, s*2, circ-adjusted

Here are more midpoint-shapes from squares:

Midpoint for s, s*3

Midpoint for s, -s*3

Midpoint for s, s*4

And some more circularly adjusted midpoint-shapes from squares:

Finally (for now), let’s look at triangles. If three points are moving clockwise around the perimeter of a triangle, one moving four times as fast as the other two, the midpoint traces this shape:

Midpoint for triangle with s, s, s*4

Now try one of the points moving anticlockwise:

Midpoint for s, s, -s*4

Midpoint for s, -s, s*4

If you adjust the midpoints so that the triangular space fills a circle, they look like this:

Midpoint for s, s, s*4, with triangular space adjusted to fill circle

Midpoint for s, -s, s*4, circ-adjusted

Midpoint for s, s, -s*4, circ-adjusted

There are lots more (infinitely more!) midpoint-shapes to see, so watch this (circularly adjusted) space.

We Can Circ It Out — more on converting polygons into circles

# Tri + Eye = Troculus

Troculus, a fractal Lovecraftian entity created by dividing-and-discarding parts of a triangle

Troculus converted into a circle

Troculus switching between forms (animated gif)

Elsewhere Other-Accessible…

Circus Trix — how to create Troculus & Co.

# We Can Circ It Out

It’s a pretty little problem to convert this triangular fractal…

Sierpiński triangle (Wikipedia)

…into its circular equivalent:

Sierpiński triangle as circle

Sierpiński triangle to circle (animated)

But once you’ve circ’d it out, as it were, you can easily adapt the technique to fractals based on other polygons:

T-square fractal (Wikipedia)

T-square fractal as circle

T-square fractal to circle (animated)

Elsewhere other-accessible…

Dilating the Delta — more on converting polygonic fractals to circles…

# Fylfy Fractals

An equilateral triangle is a rep-tile, because it can be tiled completely with smaller copies of itself. Here it is as a rep-4 rep-tile, tiled with four smaller copies of itself:

Equilateral triangle as rep-4 rep-tile

If you divide and discard one of the sub-copies, then carry on dividing-and-discarding with the sub-copies and sub-sub-copies and sub-sub-sub-copies, you get the fractal seen below. Alas, it’s not a very attractive or interesting fractal:

Stage #2

Stage #3

Stage #4

Stage #5

Stage #6

Stage #7

Stage #8

Stage #9

You can create more attractive and interesting fractals by rotating the sub-triangles clockwise or anticlockwise. Here are some examples:

Now try dividing a square into four right triangles, then turning each of the four triangles into a divide-and-discard fractal. The resulting four-fractal shape is variously called a swastika, a gammadion, a cross cramponnée, a Hakenkreuz and a fylfot. I’m calling it a fylfy fractal:

Divide-and-discard fractals in the four triangles of a divided square stage #1

Fylfy fractal #2

Fylfy fractal #3

Fylfy fractal #4

Fylfy fractal #5

Fylfy fractal #6

Fylfy fractal #7

Fylfy fractal #8

Fylfy fractal (animated)

Finally, you can adjust the fylfy fractals so that each point in the square becomes the equivalent point in a circle:

# Game of Throwns

In “Scaffscapes”, I looked at these three fractals and described how they were in a sense the same fractal, even though they looked very different:

Fractal #1

Fractal #2

Fractal #3

But even if they are all the same in some mathematical sense, their different appearances matter in an aesthetic sense. Fractal #1 is unattractive and seems uninteresting:

Fractal #1, unattractive, uninteresting and unnamed

Fractal #3 is attractive and interesting. That’s part of why mathematicians have given it a name, the T-square fractal:

Fractal #3 — the T-square fractal

But fractal #2, although it’s attractive and interesting, doesn’t have a name. It reminds me of a ninja throwing-star or shuriken, so I’ve decided to call it the throwing-star fractal or ninja-star fractal:

Fractal #2, the throwing-star fractal

A ninja throwing-star or shuriken

This is one way to construct a throwing-star fractal:

Throwing-star fractal, stage 1

Throwing-star fractal, #2

Throwing-star fractal, #3

Throwing-star fractal, #4

Throwing-star fractal, #5

Throwing-star fractal, #6

Throwing-star fractal, #7

Throwing-star fractal, #8

Throwing-star fractal, #9

Throwing-star fractal, #10

Throwing-star fractal, #11

Throwing-star fractal (animated)

But there’s another way to construct a throwing-star fractal. You use what’s called the chaos game. To understand the commonest form of the chaos game, imagine a ninja inside an equilateral triangle throwing a shuriken again and again halfway towards a randomly chosen vertex of the triangle. If you mark each point where the shuriken lands, you eventually get a fractal called the Sierpiński triangle:

Chaos game with triangle stage 1

Chaos triangle #2

Chaos triangle #3

Chaos triangle #4

Chaos triangle #5

Chaos triangle #6

Chaos triangle #7

Chaos triangle (animated)

When you try the chaos game with a square, with the ninja throwing the shuriken again and again halfway towards a randomly chosen vertex, you don’t get a fractal. The interior of the square just fills more or less evenly with points:

Chaos game with square, stage 1

Chaos square #2

Chaos square #3

Chaos square #4

Chaos square #5

Chaos square #6

Chaos square (anim)

But suppose you restrict the ninja’s throws in some way. If he can’t throw twice or more in a row towards the same vertex, you get a familiar fractal:

Chaos game with square, ban on throwing towards same vertex, stage 1

Chaos square, ban = v+0, #2

Chaos square, ban = v+0, #3

Chaos square, ban = v+0, #4

Chaos square, ban = v+0, #5

Chaos square, ban = v+0, #6

Chaos square, ban = v+0 (anim)

But what if the ninja can’t throw the shuriken towards the vertex one place anti-clockwise of the vertex he’s just thrown it towards? Then you get another familiar fractal — the throwing-star fractal:

Chaos square, ban = v+1, stage 1

Chaos square, ban = v+1, #2

Chaos square, ban = v+1, #3

Chaos square, ban = v+1, #4

Chaos square, ban = v+1, #5

Game of Throwns — throwing-star fractal from chaos game (static)

Game of Throwns — throwing-star fractal from chaos game (anim)

And what if the ninja can’t throw towards the vertex two places anti-clockwise (or two places clockwise) of the vertex he’s just thrown the shuriken towards? Then you get a third familiar fractal — the T-square fractal:

Chaos square, ban = v+2, stage 1

Chaos square, ban = v+2, #2

Chaos square, ban = v+2, #3

Chaos square, ban = v+2, #4

Chaos square, ban = v+2, #5

T-square fractal from chaos game (static)

T-square fractal from chaos game (anim)

Finally, what if the ninja can’t throw towards the vertex three places anti-clockwise, or one place clockwise, of the vertex he’s just thrown the shuriken towards? If you can guess what happens, your mathematical intuition is much better than mine.

Post-Performative Post-Scriptum

I am not now and never have been a fan of George R.R. Martin. He may be a good author but I’ve always suspected otherwise, so I’ve never read any of his books or seen any of the TV adaptations.

# Delta Skelta

“When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide,
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again.” — The Beatles, “Helter Skelter” (1968)

First stage of fractal #1

Animated fractal #1

First stage of fractal #2

Animated fractal #2

# Six Mix Trix

Here’s an equilateral triangle divided into six smaller triangles:

Equilateral triangle divided into six irregular triangles (Stage #1)

Now keep on dividing:

Stage #2

Stage #3

Stage #4

Stage #5

Equilateral triangle dividing into six irregular triangles (animated)

But what happens if you divide the triangle, then discard some of the sub-triangles, then repeat? You get a self-similar shape called a fractal:

Stage #2

Stage #3

Stage #4

Stage #5

Stage #6

Triangle fractal (animated)

Here’s another example:

Stage #2

Stage #3

Stage #4

Stage #5

Stage #6

Stage #7

Triangle fractal (animated)

You can also delay the divide-and-discard to create a more symmetrical fractal, like this:

Stage #2

Stage #3

Stage #4

Stage #5

Stage #6

Stage #7

Triangle fractal (animated)

What next? You can use trigonometry to turn the cramped triangle into a circle:

Triangular fractal

Circular fractal
(Open in new window for full image)

Triangle-to-circle (animated)

Here’s another example:

Triangular fractal

Circular fractal

Triangle-to-circle (animated)

And below are some more circular fractals converted from triangular fractals. Some of them look like distorted skulls or transdimensional Lovecraftian monsters:

(Open in new window for full image)

Previous Pre-Posted

Circus Trix — an earlier look at sextally-divided-equilateral-triangle fractals

# Root Routes

Suppose a point traces all possible routes jumping half-way towards the three vertices of an equilateral triangle. A special kind of shape appears — a fractal called the Sierpiński triangle that contains copies of itself at smaller and smaller scales:

Sierpiński triangle, jump = 1/2

And what if the point jumps 2/3rds of the way towards the vertices as it traces all possible routes? You get this dull fractal:

Triangle, jump = 2/3

But if you add targets midway along each side of the triangle, you get this fractal with the 2/3rds jump:

Triangle, jump = 2/3, side-targets

Now try the 1/2-jump triangle with a target at the center of the triangle:

Triangle, jump = 1/2, central target

And the 2/3-jump triangle with side-targets and a central target:

Triangle, jump = 2/3, side-targets, central target

But why stop at simple jumps like 1/2 and 2/3? Let’s take the distance to the target, td, and use the function 1-(sqrt(td/7r)), where sqrt() is the square-root and 7r is 7 times the radius of the circumscribing circle:

Triangle, jump = 1-(sqrt(td/7r))

Here’s the same jump with a central target:

Triangle, jump = 1-(sqrt(td/7r)), central target

Now let’s try squares with various kinds of jump. A square with a 1/2-jump fills evenly with points:

Square, jump = 1/2 (animated)

The 2/3-jump does better with a central target:

Square, jump = 2/3, central target

Or with side-targets:

Square, jump = 2/3, side-targets

Now try some more complicated jumps:

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/7r)

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/15r), side-targets

And what if you ban the point from jumping twice or more towards the same target? You get this fractal:

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/6r), ban = prev+0

Now try a ban on jumping towards the target two places clockwise of the previous target:

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/6r), ban = prev+2

And the two-place ban with a central target:

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/6r), ban = prev+2, central target

And so on:

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/6.93r), ban = prev+2, central target

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/7r), ban = prev+2, central target

These fractals take account of the previous jump and the pre-previous jump:

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/4r), ban = prev+2,2, central target

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/5r), ban = prev+2,2, central target

Square, jump = 1-sqrt(td/6r), ban = prev+2,2, central target

Elsewhere other-accessible

Boole(b)an #2 — fractals created in similar ways

# This Charming Dis-Arming

One of the charms of living in an old town or city is finding new routes to familiar places. It’s also one of the charms of maths. Suppose a three-armed star sprouts three half-sized arms from the end of each of its three arms. And then sprouts three quarter-sized arms from the end of each of its nine new arms. And so on. This is what happens:

Three-armed star

3-Star sprouts more arms

Sprouting 3-Star #3

Sprouting 3-Star #4

Sprouting 3-Star #5

Sprouting 3-Star #6

Sprouting 3-Star #7

Sprouting 3-Star #8

Sprouting 3-Star #9

Sprouting 3-Star #10

Sprouting 3-Star #11 — the Sierpiński triangle

Sprouting 3-star (animated)

The final stage is a famous fractal called the Sierpiński triangle — the sprouting 3-star is a new route to a familiar place. But what happens when you trying sprouting a four-armed star in the same way? This does:

Four-armed star #1

Sprouting 4-Star #2

Sprouting 4-Star #3

Sprouting 4-Star #4

Sprouting 4-Star #5

Sprouting 4-Star #6

Sprouting 4-Star #7

Sprouting 4-Star #8

Sprouting 4-Star #9

Sprouting 4-Star #10

Sprouting 4-star (animated)

There’s no obvious fractal with a sprouting 4-star. Not unless you dis-arm the 4-star in some way. For example, you can ban any new arm sprouting in the same direction as the previous arm:

Dis-armed 4-star (+0) #1

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #2

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #3

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #4

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #5

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #6

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #7

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #8

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #9

Dis-armed 4-Star (+0) #10

Dis-armed 4-star (+0) (animated)

Once again, it’s a new route to a familiar place (for keyly committed core components of the Overlord-of-the-Über-Feral community, anyway). Now try banning an arm sprouting one place clockwise of the previous arm:

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #1

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #2

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #3

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #4

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #5

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #6

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #7

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #8

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #9

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) #10

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) (animated)

Again it’s a new route to a familiar place. Now trying banning an arm sprouting two places clockwise (or anti-clockwise) of the previous arm:

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #1

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #2

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #3

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #4

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #5

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #6

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #7

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #8

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #9

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) #10

Dis-armed 4-Star (+2) (animated)

Once again it’s a new route to a familiar place. And what happens if you ban an arm sprouting three places clockwise (or one place anti-clockwise) of the previous arm? You get a mirror image of the Dis-armed 4-Star (+1):

Dis-armed 4-Star (+3)

Here’s the Dis-armed 4-Star (+1) for comparison:

Dis-armed 4-Star (+1)

Elsewhere other-accessible

Boole(b)an #2 — other routes to the fractals seen above