7.1 - Percolation in Nature

HandsOn Activities:

27. Growing a Scattered-Seed Forest

28. Growing a Forest from a Single Tree

29. Jell-O Experiment


16. Modeling a Scattered-Seed Forest

17. Gathering Statistics in Blaze

18. Percolating Forests


Think again about the burning forest. When tree density is low, trees do not form a percolating cluster, and the fire does not spread very far. In contrast, when the density is high, trees do form a percolating cluster, and the fire spreads across the forest. But what happens in between? And what does a percolating cluster look like, anyway? Can a percolating cluster be a fractal?

To answer these questions, we study the method of growing a "forest'' by hand. We call this method a model. Then we study the same model using the computer.

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