Fractal geometry in an expanding, one-dimensional, Newtonian universe

Abstract : Observations of galaxies over large distances reveal the possibility of a fractal distribution of their positions. The source of fractal behavior is the lack of a length scale in the two body gravitational interaction. However, even with new, larger, sample sizes from recent surveys, it is difficult to extract information concerning fractal properties with confidence. Similarly, three-dimensional N-body simulations with a billion particles only provide a thousand particles per dimension, far too small for accurate conclusions. With one-dimensional models these limitations can be overcome by carrying out simulations with on the order of a quarter of a million particles without compromising the computation of the gravitational force. Here the multifractal properties of two of these models that incorporate different features of the dynamical equations governing the evolution of a matter dominated universe are compared. For each model at least two scaling regions are identified. By employing criteria from dynamical systems theory it is shown that only one of them can be geometrically significant. The results share important similarities with galaxy observations, such as hierarchical clustering and apparent bifractal geometry. They also provide insights concerning possible constraints on length and time scales for fractal structure. They clearly demonstrate that fractal geometry evolves in the µ (position, velocity) space. The observed patterns are simply a shadow (projection) of higher-dimensional structure.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Nathalie Pothier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 1:56:15 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:08:17 PM
Long-term archiving on : Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 2:25:11 AM


Explicit agreement for this submission




Bruce N. Miller, Jean-Louis Rouet, Emmanuel Le Guirriec. Fractal geometry in an expanding, one-dimensional, Newtonian universe. Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 2007, 76 (3), pp.036705. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.76.036705⟩. ⟨insu-00339735⟩



Record views


Files downloads