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Mathematicians make even better never-repeating tile discovery

An unsatisfying caveat in a mathematical breakthrough discovery of a single tile shape that can cover a surface without ever creating a repeating pattern has been eradicated. The newly discovered "spectre" shape can cover a surface without repeating and without mirror images

By Matthew Sparkes

30 May 2023

A larger version of the banner image above, crossfading between Tile(1,1) and a Spectre with curved edges.

The pattern on the left side is made up of the “hat” shape, including reflections. The pattern on the right is made up of round-edged “spectre” shapes that repeat infinitely without reflections

David Smith et al

Mathematicians solved a decades-long mystery earlier this year when they discovered a shape that can cover a surface completely without ever creating a repeating pattern. But the breakthrough had come with a caveat: both the shape and its mirror image were required. Now the same team has discovered that a tweaked version of the original shape can complete …

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