Not many people can truly claim to have changed the way we look at the world. Benoit Mandelbrot, who has just died aged 85, is one of them. He was one of the founding fathers of Chaos Theory, which has helped us to a greater understanding of complex systems and structures.
Mandelbrot was most famous for his work on fractals – geometric features which repeat at different scales, sometimes to the infinite. He said he got the idea for the famous Mandelbrot Set while considering how to measure the British coastline, which becomes ever longer as you look at it in closer detail.
His work influenced fields such as medicine, physics, climatology, finance and sociology.