The Sinai Light Show: Using Science to Tune Fractal Aesthetics

  • B. Van Dusen
  • B. C. Scannell
  • M. E. Sereno
  • B. Spehar
  • R. P. TaylorEmail author
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)


Nature’s beauty is profound. To better understand the source of this beauty, here we will focus on the aesthetic impact of fractals. Fractals are patterns that repeat at increasingly fine size scales and they are prevalent throughout nature’s scenery (Mandelbrot 1982). Examples include lightning, clouds, trees, rivers and mountains. Furthermore, they have permeated cultures spanning across many centuries and continents, ranging from Hellinic friezes (300 B.C.E) to Jackson Pollock’s poured paintings (1950s) (Taylor et al. 1999, 2007, 2018). We will discuss how science can be used to determine the origin of fractal aesthetics and also to generate patterns that maximize this aesthetic experience.



We thank our collaborators Alex Bies, Cooper Boydston, Colin Clifford, Caroline Hagerhall and Arthur Juliani for useful discussions. This work was supported by an Australian Research Council grant DP120103659 to BS and RPT.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Van Dusen
    • 1
  • B. C. Scannell
    • 2
  • M. E. Sereno
    • 2
  • B. Spehar
    • 3
  • R. P. Taylor
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Science EducationCalifornia State University at ChicoChicoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of New South Wales SydneyKensingtonAustralia

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