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Mathematicians discovered the ultimate bathroom tile in 2023

After decades of searching, mathematicians discovered a single shape that can cover a surface without forming repeating patterns, launching a small industry of "aperiodic monotile" merchandise

By Matthew Sparkes

13 December 2023

David Smith, Joseph Myers, Chaim Goodman-Strauss and Craig S. Kaplan prove that a polykite that we call "the hat" is an aperiodic monotile, AKA an einstein

The “hat” shape can tile an infinite plane without creating repeating patterns

Craig S. Kaplan

It is rare for a shape to make a splash, but this year one did just that with the announcement of the first ever single tile that can cover a surface without forming repeating patterns. The discovery of this “aperiodic monotile” in March has since inspired everything from jigsaw puzzles to serious research papers.

“It’s more than I can keep up with in terms of the amount and even, to some extent, the level and depth of the…

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