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The Koch Snowflake
May 2008

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IB Mathematics HL Portfolio Type I Task
The Koch Snowflake
May 2008

Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA)

75%(8)75% found this document useful (8 votes)

37K views16 pagesIB Mathematics HL Portfolio Type I Task
The Koch Snowflake
May 2008

Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA)

You are on page 1of 16

Portfolio

(Type I)

May 2008

Juliana Peña 000033 049

Table of Contents

Questions . . . . . . . . . 3

Answers . . . . . . . . . 4

Answer 1 . . . . . . . . 4

Answer 2 . . . . . . . . 6

Answer 3 . . . . . . . . 7

Answer 4 . . . . . . . . 9

Answer 5 . . . . . . . . 11

Answer 6 . . . . . . . . 12

Answer 7 . . . . . . . . 14

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . 16

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Questions

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Answers

Answer 1

Table 1

0 3 1 3 √

√

1 12 4 ( )

√

2 48 ( )

√

3 192 ( )

Finding the values for was simple since only counting of the number of sides in the diagram was

needed. After finding a few of the values, the pattern was clear: each value was four times the

previous value.

In each iteration of the fractal, each side is divided in three; therefore the length of one side of the

snowflake is one third of the length of the snowflake in the previous iteration: .

was found by using a simple calculation. Since the Koch snowflake's sides are all the same size,

and perimeter is defined as the sum of the lengths of all the sides, the perimeter of the snowflake

is the same as multiplying the number of sides by the length of each side: .

was the most complicated value to find. Given that the formula for the area of an equilateral

√ √

triangle is , where is the length of a side of the triangle, the area when is , since

√

. .

Since after each iteration a certain number of triangles are added to the previous shape, the area

of iteration is ( ) ( ).

Table 2 shows the values of the area of each added triangle, , and the number of added

√

triangles, , together with , for . was found by calculating . was found by

counting (although later it was apparent that ).

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Table 2

3 √

1

12 √

2

48 √

3

were found.

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Answer 2

Graph of Nn Graph of Ln

250 1.2

200 1.0

0.8

150

Nn Ln 0.6

100

0.4

50 0.2

0 0.0

0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3

n n

Graph of Pn Graph of An

8 0.8

7 0.7

6 0.6

5 0.5

Pn 4 An 0.4

3 0.3

2 0.2

1 0.1

0 0.0

0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3

n n

Something important to notice is that is convergent. This means that has a finite value

when . Contrastingly, is divergent, so it has an infinite value when . Therefore, the

Koch snowflake is fractal with a finite area bounded by an infinite perimeter, a characteristic quite

common amongst fractals.

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Answer 3

Table 3

Generalization for :

0 3 Since each result is four times the last result, the general formula for

is , or .

1 12

2 48 Verifications:

For

3 192 For

For

For

Table 4

Generalization for :

Each result is a third of the previous one. The general formula is . 0 1

1

Verifications:

For 2

For

3

For

For

Table 5

Generalization for :

0 3 As mentioned before, . Therefore, .

1 4 Verifications:

2 For

3 For

For

For

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Table 6

Generalization for :

The general formula for the area must be 0 √

0.43

the sum of the area of the previous

1 √

iteration plus the area of the added ( )

triangles. Therefore, the general formula

2 √

must be the sum of all these areas. ( )

Table 6 shows the un-simplified sums and 3 √

the approximate results of to . The ( )

generalized formula can then be deduced

√

√ [ ∑( )]

as * ∑ ( )+.

Verifications:

√ √

For ( )

√ √ √ √

For ( ) ( ) ( )

√ √ √ √

For ( ) ( ) ( )

√ √ √ √

For ( ) ( ) ( )

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Answer 4

√ √

[ ∑( )] * +

√ √

[ ] [ ]

√ √

( )

Figure 1 on the next page shows one of the three sides of the Koch snowflake on the fourth stage.

Counting the number of sides on this curve and multiplying them by four gives 768, which is . If

the snowflake were completed, the other numbers would also be shown to be true.

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Figure 1

Figure 1 was made using turtle graphics drawn by a Python program with the following source

code:

import turtle

iteration = 4

set = "F"

for i in range(iteration):

set = set.replace("F","FLFRFLF")

turtle.down()

for move in set:

if move is "F": turtle.forward(100.0/3**i)

if move is "L": turtle.left(60)

if move is "R": turtle.right(120)

input ()

## of the one freely available on Wikipedia (see Bibliography, source 1)

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Answer 5

Table 7

0 0.433013

1 0.577350

2 0.641500

3 0.670011

4 0.682683

5 0.688315

6 0.690818

7 0.691930

8 0.692425

9 0.692645

10 0.692742

11 0.692786

12 0.692805

13 0.692813

14 0.692817

15 0.692819

16 0.692820

17 0.692820

As shown on Table 7, the values of when and are equal up to six decimal

places. Hence, the value of where up to six decimal places is 16.

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Answer 6

Table 8

0 3.000000 0.433013

1 4.000000 0.577350

2 5.333333 0.641500

3 7.111111 0.670011

4 9.481481 0.682683

5 12.641975 0.688315

6 16.855967 0.690818

7 22.474623 0.691930

8 29.966164 0.692425

9 39.954885 0.692645

10 53.273180 0.692742

11 71.030907 0.692786

12 94.707875 0.692805

13 126.277167 0.692813

14 168.369556 0.692817

15 224.492742 0.692819

16 299.323656 0.692820

17 399.098207 0.692820

perimeter only becomes larger by a larger amount each time. However, at the same time, is

getting larger, but by a smaller amount every time. Eventually, will reach a limit when .

But what is this limit?

√

[ ∑( )]

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The sum shown in this formula, ∑ ( ), is the partial sum of a geometric series with a ratio

. The formula for the sum of an infinite geometric series with first term and ratio is

√ √ √ √

( ) ( ) ( )

√

As approaches infinity, gets nearer and nearer to a maximum value of .

, however, does not have a finite upper limit, as it is divergent. As approaches infinity, so does

.

Restating the deduction in Answer 2, a Koch snowflake at its infinite iteration will have a finite

√

area of enclosed within an infinite perimeter.

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Answer 7

( ) ( )

which equals

√

[ ∑( )]

( ) states that

√ √

[ ∑( )]

To prove this statement by induction, ( ) and ( ) must be proved true given that ( ) is

true.

( ) ( )

√ √

[ ∑( )]

√

Since ,

√ √ √

[ ]

√ √

[ ] [ ]

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So ( ) holds true.

( ) ( )

√ √ √

[ ∑( )] [ ∑( )]

√ √ √

[ ∑( )] ( ) [ ∑( )]

√ √

[ ∑( ) ( )] [ ∑( )]

√ √

[ ∑( )] [ ∑( )]

Since ( ) and ( ) both hold true, ( ) is true for every positive integer .

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Bibliography

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Koch_snowflake&oldid=132082916 (accessed

June 2, 2007).

2. Riddle, Larry. "Koch Snowflake Area." Agnes Scott College.

http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu/~lriddle/ifs/ksnow/area.htm (accessed June 2, 2007).

3. Riddle, Larry. "Koch Snowflake." Agnes Scott College.

http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu/~lriddle/ifs/ksnow/ksnow.htm (accessed June 2, 2007).

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