What is a tessellation?
Date: 01/20/97 at 18:33:40 From: andrew Subject: Geometry (tessellation) What is a tessellation? Can you give an example? Thank you.
Date: 01/21/97 at 22:45:34 From: Doctor Wallace Subject: Re: Geometry (tessellation) Hi Andrew! A regular tessellation is a covering of a plane by identical shapes. Imagine that you have a room in your house that you'd like to outfit with a new floor. You want to completely cover the floor with tile, so that it looks nice. You don't want any gaps or holes showing between the tiles. Also, you can only have one shape of tile. You can use as many tiles as you need, so that the whole floor is covered, but every tile has to be perfectly identical to every other tile. If you can completely cover the floor with a certain shape of tile, we say that that shape "tessellates" the floor. With some shapes, you'll be able to cover the floor, and with others, you won't. If you try using a hexagon, for example, you'll succeed. This is because each hexagon snuggles nicely beside the others, with no gaps in between. But if you try to use an octagon, you'll fail. Octagons do not snuggle nicely. Try cutting some octagons and hexagons out of paper and you'll see what I mean. For lots more information, see Suzanne Alejandre's "Tessellation Tutorials" at http://mathforum.org/sum95/suzanne/tess.intro.html Thanks for writing, Andrew! -Doctor Wallace, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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