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A tessellation or tiling of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps. One may also speak of tessellations of the parts of the plane or of other surfaces. Generalizations to higher dimensions are also possible. Tessellations frequently appeared in the art of M C Escher. Tessellations are seen throughout art history, from ancient architecture to Modern Art.

A regular tessellation is a highly symmetric tessellation made up of congruent regular polygons. Only three regular tessellations exist: those made up of equilateral triangles, squares or hexagons. A semiregular tessellation uses a variety of regular polygons; there are eight of these. The arrangement of polygons at every vertex point is identical. An edge-to-edge tessellation is even less regular: the only requirement is that adjacent tiles only share full sides, i.e. no tile shares a partial side with any other tile. Other types of tessellations exist, depending on types of figures and types of pattern. There are regular versus irregular, periodic versus aperiodic, symmetric versus asymmetric, and fractal tessellations, as well as other classifications.

Penrose tiling using two different polygons are the most famous example of tessellations that create aperiodic patterns. They belong to a general class of aperiodic tilings that can be constructed out of self-replicating sets of polygons by using recursion.

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βˆ™ 2010-03-06 13:10:04
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Q: What are the characteristics of shapes that can be tessellated?
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