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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Some things never change": Review of Discovery of Cosmic Fractals, by Yurij Baryshev and Pekka Teerikorpi. Reviewed by Marcus Chown. New Scientist,25 January 2003, page 52.

This book discusses a new idea about the fractal nature of the universe, put forth by Benoit Mandelbrot and Luciano Pietronero. Nearby, the distribution of galaxies has a fractal character, but most astronomers think the distribution becomes homogeneous farther away. Mandelbrot and Pietronero claim the universe should exhibit the tell-tale fractal feature of self-similarity on all observable scales. Calling this claim "bold and controversial," the reviewer writes, "[t]his is a stimulating book, more than half of which stands alone as a first-rate historical primer on astronomy and cosmology."

--- Allyn Jackson

American Mathematical Society