In July, guest author Tim Lexen wrote about his discovery of the tricurve, a shape made of arcs that has some interesting properties. He’s written a follow-up in which he explores them further. For a discussion of tiling with curve-sided shapes in general, see Tim’s MathBlog post.
Tricurves can be combined when the large, convex arc of one fills a concave space of another. A tricurve can be thought of as a shape that fills a concave arc with two smaller arcs of the same total length. In each case the new arcs stay within the boundaries of the original structure: touching the same bounding arc. This could go on repeatedly (see below) but we’ll focus here on joining two tricurves. Like the tricurves, assuming agreeable angles, the combined shape will often be able to tile the plane periodically, non-periodically, and radially with itself and related shapes.
For me, the above shape emerged when playing with a drawing compass. Of the two ancient tools, I preferred the compass over the straightedge. I was fascinated with the classical geometric constructions, the intersecting circles and arcs. As a simple personality test, preferring a compass over a straightedge might mean something: maybe roundabout-holistic-intuitive more than straightforward-linear-realistic. At any rate, the pursuit of curves eventually led me to this topic, but to explain I need to start with straight lines and triangles.
One of the many jobs we’re gradually getting round to in our new flat is that of tiling a small section of the kitchen surface, which for some reason was left blank by the original builders and all intervening owners. And what better thing to tile it with than binary numbers?
Yet another fun toy for you. Give a computer a set of tiles defined by what their edges look like, can you fit them together? That problem is undecidable, since you can encode Turing machines as sets of tiles, but it turns out it’s fun to watch a computer try.
Ghost Diagrams asks you for a set of tiles (or it’ll make some up if you didn’t bring one) and shows you its attempts to make them fit together. It’s very pretty, and quite mesmerising. Sometimes it looks even better when you turn on the “knotwork” option.
Paul Harrison created Ghost Diagrams while writing his PhD thesis, Image Texture Tools: Texture Synthesis, Texture Transfer, and Plausible Restoration. He’s written a short blog post about the program.
Here are a few patterns I liked: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
via John Baez on Google+.
Hello. I’m Christian Perfect and it’s finally here: Aperiodical Round Up 6!
It’s certainly been a while since the last Round Up. You might not even have the words to describe just how long it’s been. Maybe the book Naming Infinity will help.