Cauliflower and fractals

Researchers have published a mathematical formula to describe the processes that dictate how cauliflower-like fractals form [1].


The team grew thin films using a technique known as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). They adapted the CVD process so that the film would grow into shapes similar to those seen on a cauliflower. These structures were on the submicron scale.

From this work the team were able to derive the formula which describes how the cauliflower-like patterns develop over time.

Theory verses Experiment

Below are some graphics comparing the theory with experimental observations. The close agreement is clear.


Taken from the paper [1], courtesy of IOP publishing


[1] Mario Castro et al (2012) Universality of cauliflower-like fronts: from nanoscale thin films to macroscopic plants New J. Phys. 14 103039 (online here)


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