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IB Mathematics HL

Portfolio

(Type I)

IB Candidate number: D 000033 049

May 2008
Juliana Peña 000033 049

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

(Extracted from the IB Mathematics HL Internal Assessment Teacher Support Material)

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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.

The simplified results are shown together in Table 1.

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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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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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If , the following must be true:

√ √
[ ∑( )] * +

√ √
[ ] [ ]

√ √
( )

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 ()

## This program source code is a slightly modified version

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

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Using spreadsheet software, Table 7 was produced.

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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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

As mentioned in Answer 2, is divergent and is convergent. As gets very large, the

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?

On Answer 3, it was stated that

[ ∑( )]

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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

Therefore, since the first term of ∑ ( ) 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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( ) ( )

which equals

[ ∑( )]

Let us prove this by induction.

( ) 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.

( ) ( )

√ √ √
[ ∑( )] [ ∑( )]

√ √ √
[ ∑( )] ( ) [ ∑( )]

√ √
[ ∑( ) ( )] [ ∑( )]

√ √
[ ∑( )] [ ∑( )]

So ( ) also holds true.

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

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Bibliography

1. Wikipedia contributors. "Koch snowflake". Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

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.