• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Mathematicians end decades-long search for elusive ‘vampire Einstein’ figure

Mathematicians end decades-long search for elusive ‘vampire Einstein’ figure

What can perfectly cover a 14-sided, curved surface with no gaps or overlaps? This is not a riddle – this is “Vampire Einstein”.

In March, David Smith, a retired printing technician, stumbled upon a remarkable discovery in the world. Mathematics. He found a The 13-sided shape can be completely tiled over the surface without ever repeating. Nicknamed the “hat” for its elusive fedora shape, the shape is the culmination of a decades-long hunt by mathematicians around the world.

Since 1961 Mathematicians were surprised If such a form exists. First, the mathematicians found a set of 20,426 shapes that create a pattern that never repeats (unlike kitchen floor tiles, which create a repeating pattern). Eventually, mathematicians found a set of 104 shapes that could create tilings that never repeat.

The middle and right shapes are examples of ‘spectras’ — 14-sided shapes that can be tiled infinitely without ever creating a repeating pattern. (Image credit: Smith et al.)

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