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Mathematicians end decades-long quest to find elusive 'vampire einstein' shape

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

What has 14 sides, is full of curves, and can perfectly cover a surface with no gaps or overlaps? It's not a riddle — it's a "vampire einstein."

In March, a retired printing technician named David Smith stumbled upon a remarkable discovery in the world of mathematics. He found a 13-sided shape that could completely tile a surface without ever repeating. The shape, nicknamed "the hat" for its vaguely fedora-like shape was the culmination of decades of hunting by mathematicians around the world.

But for all the celebration around Smith's discovery of an einstein tile, there was one small fly in the ointment. In order to create the non-repeating tiling, the "hat" had to work with its mirror image. Technically it's the same shape, just flipped, but some argued that Smith hadn't really found a true einstein.




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