The method of iterated conformal maps for the study of diffusion limited aggregates (DLA) is generalized to the study of Laplacian growth patterns and related processes. We emphasize the fundamental difference between these processes: DLA is grown serially with constant size particles, while Laplacian patterns are grown by advancing each boundary point in parallel, proportional to the gradient of the Laplacian field. We introduce a two-parameter family of growth patterns that interpolates between DLA and a discrete version of Laplacian growth. The ultraviolet putative finite-time singularities are regularized here by a minimal tip size, equivalently for all the models in this family. With this we stress that the difference between DLA and Laplacian growth is not in the manner of ultraviolet regularization, but rather in their deeply different growth rules. The fractal dimensions of the asymptotic patterns depend continuously on the two parameters of the family, giving rise to a “phase diagram” in which DLA and discretized Laplacian growth are at the extreme ends. In particular, we show that the fractal dimension of Laplacian growth patterns is higher than the fractal dimension of DLA, with the possibility of dimension 2 for the former not excluded.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/benny_davidovitch/11/