Filling a Square with Random Disks

A unit square is filled randomly with non-overlapping circles of decreasing radius according to a power law; the resulting set has fractal properties.


  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


The area of each circle decreases as , where is an integer and is an exponent between 1.1 and 1.5, which ensures convergence and interesting pictures. In fact, summing all areas gives the Riemann zeta function, with a starting area for the first circle satisfying the relation
For a high number of steps and values of near 1.5, the number of iterations required grows; in that case the number of iterations is limited to one million.
For a variety of designs, extensions to 3D, and estimates of fractal dimensions, visit Paul Bourke's web page.
    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.

Mathematica »
The #1 tool for creating Demonstrations
and anything technical.
Wolfram|Alpha »
Explore anything with the first
computational knowledge engine.
MathWorld »
The web's most extensive
mathematics resource.
Course Assistant Apps »
An app for every course—
right in the palm of your hand.
Wolfram Blog »
Read our views on math,
science, and technology.
Computable Document Format »
The format that makes Demonstrations
(and any information) easy to share and
interact with.
STEM Initiative »
Programs & resources for
educators, schools & students.
Computerbasedmath.org »
Join the initiative for modernizing
math education.
Step-by-Step Solutions »
Walk through homework problems one step at a time, with hints to help along the way.
Wolfram Problem Generator »
Unlimited random practice problems and answers with built-in step-by-step solutions. Practice online or make a printable study sheet.
Wolfram Language »
Knowledge-based programming for everyone.
Powered by Wolfram Mathematica © 2018 Wolfram Demonstrations Project & Contributors  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Give us your feedback
Note: To run this Demonstration you need Mathematica 7+ or the free Mathematica Player 7EX
Download or upgrade to Mathematica Player 7EX
I already have Mathematica Player or Mathematica 7+