Though the sandpile has been the object of study from a diverse set of perspectives, even some of the most basic questions about the terminal configurations produced by the process remain unanswered. One of the most striking features of the sandpile is that when begun from a large concentration of n chips, the resulting terminal configurations seem to converge to a peculiar fractal pattern as n goes to infinity. In this talk, we will discuss a new mathematical explanation for the fractal nature of the sandpile.
Joint work with Charles Smart and Lionel Levine.
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