Resource Section
History & Culture

The Tiles of Infinity

Physicist Peter Lu discovered in 2005 that the elaborate geometric patterns in Islamic tilework from about 1200 are based on patterns that modern mathematicians have only recently learned how to describe. In 1974, Sir Roger Penrose showed how two shapes can be used to create non-repeating tiling, called quasicrystal structures. The relationship of Islamic geometry to these new discoveries in mathematics, as well as the connection of both to the golden ratio described by Leonardo da Vinci as well as mathematicians from ancient Egypt onward. A fascinating insight into the genius of Islamic artisans.

Aramco Services Company
Sebastian R. Prange


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