18 April 2010

Optics project: soda box no-film "camera" with simple lens

Hi -

Our intrepid four-year old has been collecting paper towel tubes, refrigerator soda boxes, and magnifying glasses. What to do?

Try making a primitive no-film camera demonstrator with a lens-on-a-tube! You can see really bright, colorful images of the TV screen, stuff in the house, and all sorts of stuff outside.

This is the second optics "Learn it Yourself" project, following the pinhole camera in a teabox:


09 April 2010

Coin toss fractal in Mathematica [edit]

Hello -

It's well-known but surprising that you can create beautiful images of fractals with a coin toss (okay, dice) and paper & pencil:

(Drawn by computer)
  • Label corners of a triangle {1, 2, 3}.
  • Draw a dot at a corner (or anywhere?)
  • While not tired:
  • - Generate random integer N = [1,3].
  • - Draw a dot halfway between the last dot and corner N.

Click for code

(Click to embiggen. It's pretty!)

[Edit - Thanks, Matthias! It works for squares, too, using the method he describes in the comments.]

(Matthias: Yeah, it works in 3-space, too:)