From Math Images
|Harmonic Warping of Blue Wash|
Basic DescriptionThis image is an infinite tiling. If you look closely at the edges of the image, you can see that the tiles become smaller and smaller and seem to fade into the edges. The border of the image is infinite so that the tiling continues unendingly and the tiles become eternally smaller.
The source image for this tiling is another image that is mathematically interesting and is also featured on this website. See Blue Wash for more information about how the source image was created.
A More Mathematical Explanation
- Note: understanding of this explanation requires: *Single Variable Calculus
To create this image, a harmonic warping operation was used to map the infinite tiling of the source image onto a finite plane. This operation essentially took the entire infinite Euclidean plane and squashed it into a square. This type of operation can be called a distance compressing warp.
The equations used to perform the harmonic warp is show in a graph to the right and is as follows, where (x,y) is a coordinate on the Euclidean plane tiling and (d(x), d(y)) is a coordinate on the non-Euclidean square tiling
You can observe for both of these equations that as x and y go to infinity, d(x) and d(y) both approach a limit of 1.
The graph to the right shows clearly that d(x) approaches 1 as x goes to infinity. Mathematically:
Since d(x) and d(y) approach 1 as x and y go to infinity, the square plane that the infinite tiling is mapped to must be a unit square (that is its dimensions are 1 unit by 1 unit). Since the unit square fits an infinite tiling within its finite border, the square is not a traditional Euclidean plane. As the tiling approaches the border of the square, distance within the square increases non-linearly. In fact, the border of the square is infinite because the tiling goes on indefinitely.
Here is another example of this type of tiling contained in a square using the Union Flag:
Polar Harmonic Warping
Four Infinite Poles
Comparing the Different Types of Tilings
|Saint Andrew's Flag||Saint George's Flag|
|Four Infinite Poles Tiling|
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About the Creator of this Image
Paul Cockshott is a computer scientist and a reader at the University of Glasgow. The various math images featured on this page emerged from his research dealing with digital image processing.
Future Directions for this Page
I suggest adding a section on why this operation is called Harmonic warping.
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