Science is no stranger to bizarre, unintuitive results, but for true discombobulating weirdness, you just can’t beat quantum mechanics. Dealing with physics on the subatomic scale, it sometimes appears more philosophy than science – and occasionally the questions seem even more confusing than the answers. quantum physics books quantum physics equations principles of quantum physics

One such question was answered this week by Utrecht University physicists. In a study published in Nature Physics, they investigated the intriguing quantum behavior of subatomic particles when arranged in geometric structures known as fractals. quantum physics books quantum physics equations principles of quantum physics

Fractals are one of the most bonkers and beautiful concepts in math. They’re essentially shapes that exhibit something called “self-similarity”: you can zoom in on any part, as far as you like, and you’ll always see the same original shape. quantum physics books quantum physics equations principles of quantum physics

Even if you haven’t done math since high school, you’ll still have come across them – fractals surround us. We can see them in the shape of galaxies and the orbits of planets, and in winter they fall from the sky as snowflakes. quantum physics books quantum physics equations principles of quantum physics

One of the most mind-bending properties fractals have is their dimension. We’re used to the dimension of an object being pretty straightforward: we live in a three-dimensional world, while drawings on paper, along with the citizens of Flatland, make do with two. But fractals don’t play by the normal rules: they can have dimensions that aren’t whole numbers. The dimension of a Koch snowflake, for instance, is 1.26186. quantum physics books quantum physics equations principles of quantum physics