Feeds

Islamic ceramics wow mathematicians

Medieval 'quasicrystalline geometry'

Security for virtualized datacentres

A US scientist has discovered that medieval Islamic ceramic designs demonstrate their makers' understanding of "quasicrystalline geometry" - something modern mathematicians only "figured out" in the last 20 or 30 years.

That's according to Harvard's Peter Lu, who normally designs physics experiments for the International Space Station, but spotted an interesting decagonal motif tile design on a 16th Century building in Uzbekistan.

The pattern (see pic in BBC article here) shows "rotational symmetry yet lacks translational symmetry", as Science puts it, and "echoes quasicrystalline geometry in that both use symmetrical polygonal shapes to create patterns that can be extended indefinitely".

Lu said: "It's absolutely stunning. They made tilings that reflect mathematics that were so sophisticated that we didn't figure it out until the last 20 or 30 years."

Lu's study, published in Science, challenges the belief that "the complicated star-and-polygon patterns of Islamic design were conceived as zigzagging lines drafted using straightedge rulers and compasses".

Lu added: "You can go through and see the evolution of increasing geometric sophistication. So they start out with simple patterns, and they get more complex." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.