Fractiles’ Mandala, Based on Angles of Pi/7 Radians


Although this was based on something I constructed using the Fractiles-7 magnetic tiling toy, I did not have enough magnetic pieces to finish this. The idea was, therefore, converted into a (non-Euclidean) construction using Geometer’s Sketchpad, and then refined using MS-Paint. The reason I describe this as a non-Euclidean construction is that an angle of pi/7 radians, such as the acute angles in the red rhombi, cannot be constructed using compass and unmarked straight edge: antiquity’s Euclidean tools. The other angles used are whole-number multiples of pi/7 radians, up to and including 6pi/7 radians for the obtuse angles of the red rhombi.

The yellow rhombi have angles measuring 2pi/7 and 5pi/7 radians, while the blue rhombi’s angles measures 3pi/7 and 4pi/7 radians. None of these angles have degree measures which are whole numbers. It is no coincidence that 7 is not found among the numerous factors of 360. It is, in fact, the smallest whole number for which this is true.

I have a conjecture that this aperiodic radial tiling-pattern could be continued, using these same three rhombi, indefinitely, but this has not yet been tested beyond the point shown.

Dodecahedron with Mandalas


Dodecahedron with Mandalas

This rotating image took three different programs to create. First, I made the mandala (seen in the previous post) using Geometer’s Sketchpad. Next, I used MS-Paint to complete the colorization of it. Finally, I used Stella 4d (see if you’d like to try or buy it) to put this mandala on each face of a dodecahedron, and then create the rotating .gif you see here.

I find both Stella 4d and Geometer’s Sketchpad to be indispensable tools for mathematical investigations and the creation of geometrical art, and highly recommend both programs.