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The Colours of Infinity: The Beauty, The Power and the Sense of Fractals Paperback – September 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon has published poems and short stories in the UK, the US, and France. He formed his first film production company in 1976, and worked for Donovan, Pink Floyd, 10cc, Joe Cocker, Wings, and Leo Sayer. Gordon Films UK was formed in 1995 to produce the award-winning television documentary "The Colours of Infinity". His first book was "Introducing Fractal Geometry".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Clear Books; Pap/Dvdr edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904555055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904555056
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Botha on September 19, 2004
This is a very good introduction to fractals, but I found the book light on mathematical details (for some this might be an advantage?!). Unfortunately the included DVD is not in NTSC format, so it will not play on many USA DVD players (I had to watch it on my PC :-(
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The beauty and color of fractals is captured in a documentary also included on the DVD accompanying this unique and informative book. Introduced by Arthur C. Clarke, The Colours Of Infinity has received world-wide television coverage and ten years ago brought the subject of fractals to the general public for the first time: geometric exploration is brought to the general reader's attention here, in a fine and highly recommended survey of fractual creations and math.
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Fractals were just hitting the popular consciousness when I was in high school. I remember a flurry of pop science books that came out around that time, all of which presented the wonderful fractal images, while nevertheless dancing quite vaguely around the underlying ideas. The questions these mushheaded books immediately provoked in me (i.e. "what does 'self-similar' actually MEAN?" and "is complexity an objective quality or in the eye of the beholder?) were left totally unanswered. In my high school, these books (and the fractal posters, key-chains, videos, water-pipes...) commanded the attention of an intellectually philistine (and usually highly-intoxicated) crowd. People who use "party" as a verb. This "whoa dude-it's a fractal" factor was so powerful that it left the whole topic kind of disreputable in my book...until now.

This,too, is a "pop" science book, after a fashion, but unlike those other fractal books, the authors here refuse to dumb the subject down to a mere collection of pretty pictures. There is enough detail here to permit a diligent reader to truly understand the logic behind fractal geometry. If you can grasp the math, the basics are here. If, like me, you are a "liberal arts" type, the concepts are also explained in precise English.

The content of the video is similarly excellent. The interviews with Benoit Mandelbrot and Stephen Hawking are very cool indeed, but my favorite part is when Arthur C. Clarke states that, while he doesn't know about this PERSONALLY, "the ingestion of certain illegal substances produces fractal visions." Clad in his trademark blue utility shirt, and with a perfectly straight face, Clarke goes on to note the similarity between the words "Mandelbrot" and "Mandala." (Whoa, dude!
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Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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The DVD is now correct for American DVD players. Beautiful book accompanied by beautiful documentary.
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This book is very informative about fractals but the DVD can only be watched on my computer. Nowhere did it say thet it could not be viewed on a TV. I wish it had said so.
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I had a concern about whether the DVD was NTSC compatible as I had read in the reviews that the CVD was in the PAL format and one review that the DVD was now in the NTSC foormat.

I called Amazon prior to ordering to confirm the NTSC format but, as expected, they had no clue. My order arrived and the DVD is in the correct format for playing in US DVD player.

However, when I first tried my DVD it would neither play in my computer or my DVD player. I was about to send my purchase back to Amazon when I noticed a mottled, opaque haze over the entire DVD playing surface but after cleaning the disk, the DVD played flawlessly. The DVD, I believe, became contaminated with a residue from the soft plastic sleeve that stores the DVD in the back cover of the book.

I had first seen the documentary on fractal geometry on public television and I was completely mesmerized. I wanted a DVD copy for myself and at the $22.02 price it was a "steal." I highly recommend it.
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This combination book and DVD is excellent and comes at a very reasonable price. The illustrations in the book are beautiful and the DVD is a magnificent pictoral display of fractals as well as excellent descriptions of the history of fractals and the people who discovered them and developed them. Clarke narrates the DVD which I have watched several times and am never bored. The book compliments the DVD and visa versa. I can't imagine a more complete and picturesque presentation. I am a beginner in learning about fractals and this was a perfect purchase for me.
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I have "accidentally" seen parts of the video during a local PBS fund drive. It intrigued me so much that I started looking on the internet for details. I found the right source, Amazon, and purchased the book and video.

It is a total experience and a revelation. I can only paraphrase some mathematician who said that God speaks to the mortals through mathematics. It is truly an epiphany.
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