fractal string
   HOME

TheInfoList




An ordinary fractal string \omega is a bounded, open subset of the real number line. Such a subset can be written as an at-most-countable set, countable union of connected open intervals with associated lengths \mathcal=\ written in non-increasing order; we also refer to \mathcal as a fractal string. For example, \mathcal=\left\ is a fractal string corresponding to the Cantor set. For each fractal string \mathcal , we can associate to \mathcal a geometric zeta function \zeta_ : the Dirichlet series \zeta_ (s)=\sum_ \ell_j^ . Poles of (the analytic continuation of) the geometric zeta function \zeta_ (s) are then called complex dimensions of the fractal string \mathcal . For fractal strings associated with sets like Cantor sets, formed from deleted intervals that are rational number, rational powers of a fundamental length, the complex dimensions appear in an arithmetic progression parallel to the imaginary axis, and are called lattice fractal strings. (For example the complex dimensions of the Cantor set are s=\frac , which are an arithmetic progression in the direction of the imaginary axis.) Otherwise, they are called non-lattice. In fact, an ordinary fractal string is Minkowski measurable if and only if it is non-lattice. A generalized fractal string \eta is defined to be a local positive or complex measure on (0, +\infty) such that , \eta, (0, x_0) = 0 for some x_0 > 0, where the positive measure , \eta, is the variation of \eta. Each ordinary fractal string can be associated with a measure that makes it into a generalized fractal string.


Ordinary fractal strings

An ordinary fractal string \omega is a bounded, open subset of the real number line. Any such subset can be written as an at-most-countable set, countable union of connected open intervals with associated lengths \mathcal=\ written in non-increasing order. We allow \omega to consist of finitely many open intervals, in which case \mathcal consists of finitely many lengths. We refer to \mathcal as a ''fractal string''.


Example

The Cantor ternary set, middle third's Cantor set is constructed by removing the middle third from the unit interval (0,1) , then removing the middle thirds of the subsequent intervals, ''ad infinitum''. The deleted intervals \Omega=\left\ have corresponding lengths \mathcal=\left\ . Inductively, we can show that there are 2^ intervals corresponding to each length of 3^. Thus, we say that the ''multiplicity'' of the length 3^ is 2^.


Heuristic

The geometric information of the Cantor set in the example above is contained in the ordinary fractal string \mathcal . From this information we can compute the box-counting dimension of the Cantor set. This notion of fractal dimension can be generalized to that of complex dimension, which will give us complete geometrical information regarding the local oscillations in the geometry of the Cantor set.


The geometric zeta function

If \sum_ < \infty, we say that \Omega has a geometric realization in \mathbb, \Omega=\bigcup_^\infty I_i , where the I_i are intervals in \mathbb , of all the lengths \_ , taken with multiplicity. For each fractal string \mathcal , we can associate to \mathcal a geometric zeta function \zeta_ defined as the Dirichlet series \zeta_ (s)=\sum_ \ell_j^ . Poles of the geometric zeta function \zeta_ (s) are called complex dimensions of the fractal string \mathcal . The general philosophy of the theory of complex dimensions for fractal strings is that complex dimensions describe the intrinsic oscillation in the geometry, spectra and dynamics of the fractal string \mathcal . The abscissa of convergence of \zeta_(s) is defined as \sigma=\inf \left\ . For a fractal string \mathcal with infinitely many nonzero lengths, the abscissa of convergence \sigma coincides with the Minkowski dimension of the boundary of the string, \partial \Omega . For our example, the boundary Cantor string is the Cantor set itself. So the abscissa of convergence of the geometric zeta function \zeta_(s) is the Minkowski dimension of the Cantor set, which is \frac . The concept of a geometric zeta function can be generalized to higher dimensions as the ''distance zeta function''.


Complex dimensions

For a fractal string \mathcal , composed of an infinite sequence of lengths, the ''complex dimensions'' of the fractal string are the poles of the analytic continuation of the geometric zeta function associated with the fractal string. (When the analytic continuation of a geometric zeta function is not defined to all of the complex plane, we take a subset of the complex plane called the "window", and look for the "visible" complex dimensions that exist within that window.)


Example

Continuing with the example of the fractal string associated to the middle thirds Cantor set, we compute \zeta_(s)=\sum_^\infty \frac =\frac = \frac . We compute the abscissa of convergence to be the value of s satisfying 3^s=2 , so that s=\log_3 2=\frac is the Minkowski dimension of the Cantor set. For complex s , \zeta_(s) has pole (complex analysis), poles at the infinitely many solutions of 3^s=2 , which, for this example, occur at s=\frac , for all integers k . This collection of points is called the set of complex dimensions of the middle thirds Cantor set.


Applications

For fractal strings associated with sets like Cantor sets, formed from deleted intervals that are rational number, rational powers of a fundamental length, the complex dimensions appear in a regular, arithmetic progression parallel to the imaginary axis, and are called ''lattice'' fractal strings. Sets that do not have this property are called ''non-lattice''. There is a dichotomy in the theory of measures of such objects: an ordinary fractal string is Minkowski measurable if and only if it is non-lattice. The existence of non-real complex dimensions with positive real part has been proposed to be the signature feature of fractal objects.M. L. Lapidus, M. van Frankenhuijsen
Fractal Geometry, Complex Dimensions and Zeta Functions: Geometry and Spectra of Fractal Strings
Monographs in Mathematics, Springer, New York, Second revised and enlarged edition, 2012.
Formally, Michel Lapidus and Machiel van Frankenhuijsen propose to define “fractality” as the presence of at least one nonreal complex dimension with positive real part. This new definition of fractality solves some old problems in fractal geometry. For example, everyone can agree that Cantor function, Cantor's devil's staircase is fractal, which it is with this new definition of fractality in terms of complex dimensions, but it is not in the sense of Mandelbrot.


Generalized fractal strings

A generalized fractal string \eta is defined to be a local positive or complex measure on (0, +\infty) such that , \eta, (0, x_0) = 0 for some x_0 > 0, where the positive measure , \eta, is the variation of \eta. For example, if \mathcal = \_^ is an ordinary fractal string with multiplicities w_j, then the measure \eta_ := \sum_^ w_j\delta_ associated to \mathcal (where \delta_ refers to the Dirac delta measure concentrated at the point x) is an example of a generalized fractal string. Even more concretely, one may consider, for example, the ''generalized Cantor string'' \eta_ := \sum_^ b^j \delta_ for 1 < b < a. If \eta is a generalized fractal string, then its ''dimension'' is defined as D_ := \inf(\sigma\in\mathbb: \int_0^ x^, \eta, (dx) < \infty),its ''counting function'' as N_(x) := \int_0^x \eta(dx) = \eta(0, x)and its ''geometric zeta function'' (its Mellin transform) as \zeta_(s) := \int_0^ x^\eta(dx).


References

{{reflist Fractals Mathematical structures Iterated function system fractals Sets of real numbers