Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Research Article

The measure theory of random fractals

S. James Taylora1

a1 Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, U.S.A.

In 1951 A. S. Besicovitch, who was my research supervisor, suggested that I look at the problem of determining the dimension of the range of a Brownian motion path. This problem had been communicated to him by C. Loewner, but it was a natural question which had already attracted the attention of Paul Lévy. It was a good problem to give to an ignorant Ph.D. student because it forced him to learn the potential theory of Frostman [33] and Riesz[75] as well as the Wiener [98] definition of mathematical Brownian motion. In fact the solution of that first problem in [81] used only ideas which were already twenty-five years old, though at the time they seemed both new and original to me. My purpose in this paper is to try to trace the development of these techniques as they have been exploited by many authors and used in diverse situations since 1953. As we do this in the limited space available it will be impossible to even outline all aspects of the development, so I make no apology for giving a biased account concentrating on those areas of most interest to me. At the same time I will make conjectures and suggest some problems which are natural and accessible in the hope of stimulating further research.

(Received April 16 1986)