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Kelly: G–Block January 17, 2011
Tessellations are characterized as a sequence of polygons that are attached to one another again and again and can cover a plane without any gaps or holes. A vertex a tessellation is where one corner from each shape in the tessellation meet. The angles of the corners of the polygons in any tessellation must add up to 360o. Thus, to prove that there are only 8 semi-regular tessellations (tessellations that are composed of more than 1 polygon) we must find all the possible vertex of polygons that can add up to 360o. The table below shows the sums of each angle is different polygons. Each number is derived from the equation [(X-2)*180] ÷ X = Y in which X is the number of sides the polygon has and Y is the measure of angle of each corner in that polygon. Y X Y X 3 60o 12 150o 4 90o 13 152.3 1o 5 108o 14 154.2 9o 6 120o 15 156o 7 128.5 7o 8 135o 9 140o 10 144o 11 147.2 7o
Note: The reason why the table stops at a 15-gon is because the angle is very close to 180o and if a polygon with a larger number of sides is needed then it will be calculated at that time. The reason why the table starts with a 3-gon is because it is not possible to have a polygon with only two sides.
There is a certain limit to the number of polygons a tessellation can have. The smallest number of polygons that a tessellation could have is 3. There cannot be a tessellation containing only 2 polygons for one major reason. If a tessellation did contain only 2 polygons then the sum of the angles at a corner of each polygon would have to be 180o or higher. However it is not possible to have a polygon that meets this requirement. If we use the equation shown in the table, we can see why. On the left side of the equation we see [(X-2)*180] ÷ X which essentially means that the number of sides the polygon has is subtracted by two, divided by itself and then multiplied by 180. Any number that is subtracted by two and then divided by itself will be less than 1. However for the equation to equal 180, that number must be equal to 1 which is not possible. The largest number of polygons that a tessellation could have is 6. As seen above the smallest possible angle for a corner is 60o which is a triangle. This means that for the tessellation to have the most possible polygons, all the shapes would have to be equal to 60o. Since each vertex in a tessellation is equal to 360o the greatest number of polygons a tessellation could have is 360 ÷ 60 or 6 shapes.
3. if we combine two of the angle measures and form one new angle measure to bring the total shapes down from 6 to 5 and changing the sum of the angles of the vertex to 120+60+60+60+60 from 60+60+60+60+60+60. This gives us another possible tessellation of 4. we would just be replacing a triangle with another triangle.6 Polygons: There is only one possible tessellation that involves 6 polygons.4.3. We start by changing the first three polygons to triangles to give the equation 60 + 60 + 60 + 180. creating another possibility of 4.4. Since a square is the only polygon that can be repeated 4 times we will look at all the other polygons by removing the first three squares. First. Now if we say that the first polygon is a pentagon. which does not give us a new tessellation. If we were to rearrange the numbers so that the two squares (or 4-gons) where not next to one another we would have a separate tessellation. As seen in the table above.3.3. this tessellation is not possible.3. 4.3. As we saw in the previous step. the number 240 doesn’t work to anything below would not work as well. we will combine 3 of the angle measures and replace it with two. If you combine the angles you get the equation 240 + 60 + 60. The equation this gives us is 300 + 60. When the three angle measures are combined we get the equation 180+60+60+60 in which we must find two polygons whose angle measures add to 180o. This means that no shape with a measure higher than a pentagon will be able to be the first figure in the new tessellation. Next we will only change the first two to a triangle and 2 .3.3. 5 Polygons: To calculate the possible tessellations for 5 polygons we will use modifications of the possibility that we found for 6. because to change one of the triangles to another polygon with a different angle measure. 4 Polygons: To calculate the possible tessellations for 4 polygons we first look at if there is a possibility if all the polygons are the same. To do this we must divide 360 by 5 to get an angle measure of 72 for each polygon which according to the table is not possible. the resulting equation would be 150 + 90 + 60 + 60.3. By dividing 360 by 4 we get a 90 degree angle sum for each figure which according to the table is possible.3.3. Upon looking at the table on the previous page we see that only the addition of two squares could create this angle measure. there is no polygon that has angle measure less than 60o so it would be impossible to change the set in anyway. The only way in which we can separate 150 into two polygons according to the table is with another square and triangle. Now looking at the table if we say that the first polygon we add in is a triangle. Next.3. Lastly. There are no other possible tessellations in this category.4. 3. we will see if there is a tessellation with all the 5 polygons being the same. This gives us no tessellations. Since no polygon has angle measures of 180. then we get the equation 132 + 108 + 60 + 60. you would have to either increase or decrease it. If you increase one of the angle measures. Next we will combine 5 to and add 4.3. Next.3.4. This tessellation has 6 triangles.4. This vertex could also appear in another potential tessellation. If we again used a square for the first polygon in the 132 we get a remainder of 42 which is below the lowest possible measure. If we say that the first polygon is a square we get the equation 210 + 90 +60. According to the table on page 1 a hexagon (or 6-gon) has an angle measure of 120 so we can create one possible tessellation as 6. If a square was put in. we will combine 4 of the angle measures and replace it with three.3. you would have to decrease the other to keep the sum equal to 360o and vice versa. So we see what would happen if we first put in a square.
Now we move on to a triangle and a 13 gon. This gives us the equation 60 + 60 +120 +120 which can create the two tessellations 3. Next we will have the possibility of one triangle and one 8-gone. This gives us the equation 60 + 150 + 150.10.12 (produced by separating the two 3’s).4. If we replaced another triangle with a hexagon then we would get the equation 60 + 120 + 120 + 120. If you plug 165 into the equation you get the angle measure of a 24-gon telling us that another tessellation is 3.6 (by separating 3’s and 6’s). you find that 160 is the angle measure of an 18-gon.27 + 152. According to the table 150 is the angle measure of a 12-gon so we get another tessellation 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. The equation we get is 60 + 135 + 165. Any number greater than 120 would also exceed 360 as seen in the previous steps. The equation is 60 + 152. Next we move to the possibility of one triangle and one square which gives us the equation 60 + 90 +210. However upon plugging in 152.12. We can plug 192 into the equation on page 1 and conclude that there is no possible polygon that fits that description.4. we move on to one triangle and that gives us 60 + 120 + 180.3. Next. This angle measure doesn’t work but we also see that the third number is now less than the second.6 and 3.12. a 15-gon has a 156 angle measure giving us another tessellation of 3. This will give us the equation 60 + 108 + 192.6. we first replace the first two polygons with triangles again giving us the equation 60 + 60 + 240 which has no possible polygon as you can see by plugging it in to the equation on page one. So. Now that we have moved out of triangles we must set the square as the first polygon. Which adds up to 420 and is not a plausible tessellation because it exceeds 360.6. If you plug it into the equation.3. However this brings us back to where we started with all the polygons being squares. 3 Polygons: To calculate possible tessellations for 3 polygons we first look at if there is a possibility if all the polygons are the same.24.3. If you plug this into the equation. 6. Now we will change the second polygon to 108. No other polygon has angle measures of 120 so we move on to the next group of replacing the two squares with a triangle and a hexagon.31 + 147.leave the third as a square giving the equation 60 + 60 + 90 + 150. you do not get an even number –gon meaning there is no possible polygon.4 (produced by separating the two 4’s). Next we will move on to a triangle and a 12gon. we have a triangle and an 11-gon giving us the equation 60 + 147. So without decreasing any of the numbers below 90o we cannot have any other possible tessellations. This gives us the possibility of the 4th polygon being a pentagon.6 or 3.6.43. Next we move on to one triangle and one 9-gone in which you get the equation 60 + 140 + 160. This gives us the first possible tessellation with three polygons. Next we have a triangle and a 10-gon which gives the equation 60 + 144 + 156. Now we have found all the 33 .73 in the equation on page 1.3. By dividing 360 by 3 we get a 120 degree angle sum for each figure which according to the table on page 1 is possible. Two tessellations arise from this both 3.4. According to the table.43 which can be plug into the equation and found out to be the angle measure of a 43-gon and get the tessellation 3.8. Moving on. There is no other polygon that has an angle measure of 150 so we move to the next tessellation group of changing the second polygon to a square as well giving us 60 + 90 + 90 + 120. you find that it is not possible to have this arrangement. This again gives us two possible tessellations of 3. we go to one triangle and one 7-gon which gives us the equation 60 + 128. This gives us another possible tessellation of 3. Moving on.69. This means that the second polygon that we will find from now on will always be larger than the polygon that we calculate.12 and 3.18.57 + 171.6.
220.127.116.11. 3.3.3. In conclusion all there are 21 plausible tessellations: 3. and 3.4.8. 4. 18.104.22.168. With triangles done we move on to squares were we will start with two squares. because we need to reduce the other which we cannot because each angle is already equal.3. 22.214.171.124.4.5.12. This means that all the vertices that have only one shape in them cannot be a semi-regular tessellation (those are called regular tessellations).8. Next we move on to what tessellations are semi-regular so we can find all the vertices that we have to show cannot create a vertex.126.96.36.199. The equation is 108 + 108 + 144. 4.4. 3.3.shape tessellations beginning with triangles because from now on we will just find repeats.3. 4. 3.8. 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206. As we saw when we did the triangles after the last to polygons are the same then the tessellations will start repeating themselves so we have finished the squares.3.20. So we can eliminate 3. 3.6. No we move on to having the pentagon first.3. Next we will move on to a square and a 7-gon in which we have the equation 90 + 128.5. Now we move onto hexagons but if we set that as the limit for the first down. 4. The definition of a semi-regular tessellations it that involves at least two different shapes at each vertex.5. and 5.3. In the several following paragraphs we will see the tessellations drawn out to the point where they overlap or “stop – working” then the diagram will be explained. 3. 3.12 after looking at the table. Then we move on to a square and hexagon with the equation 90 + 120 + 150. This however is not a polygon after plugging it into the equation.220.127.116.11.4.12: 4 .4.3. 18.104.22.168.10.5.7.3. 3. 3.4. do not create actual.6.12. 3.3. According to the table this gives us the tessellation 5. 3.6. This leaves us with 10 vertices to show cannot become tessellations: 3. 3.10. 4.12.4. 3.15. 22.214.171.124.4.3.10. 3.4.12. 3.57 + 126.96.36.199.12 so we can eliminate them from the list as well.188.8.131.52.3. 3. 5.3. Some of the vertices we found on page 3 do not actually make tessellations. 3.5. Next we have a pentagon and a hexagon which gives the equation 108 + 120 + 60 which we have already done.4.3. The equation is now 90 + 90 + 184.108.40.206. We do not use triangles because we have completed all the tessellations with triangles. 3. and 6. there is no way in which we could increase one.15.4. The first equation we have is with two pentagons.6. 220.127.116.11. Using the equation on page 1 we can see that this gives us the tessellation 4. 18.104.22.168. 6.6. We have proven in class that all the semiregular tessellations are 3. Now we must show which tessellations are semi-regular and that all the other plausible tessellations we found.4.12.6. 22.214.171.124. 126.96.36.199 from the list on page three.12.6. This gives the equation 90 + 135 + 135 which gives us the tessellation 4. Clearly this is not a tessellation because no polygon has an angle measure of 180.3.20. As you can see they are already repeating themselves.8.4.3. This gives us the tessellation 4.8. we move up to a square and an 8gon.3.6.24. Next we have a square and a pentagon in which we get the equation 90 + 108 + 252.8. working tessellations. So.188.8.131.52.4.9.
3. As we began to expand the tessellations.4. However. we added the blue figure above and to angle of the red one. *Note: Please continue on to the next page.The red shape above represents the initial vertices we started off with. as the image was too large to fit in the remainder of this page* 3. if you look at the beginning picture. there is no area that extends outward as shown in the depression were the arrow is.12: 5 . In other words. to further expand this tessellation we would have to add another figure to the area the arrow indicates. no point on the original red figure can fit into the indicated area. This means that the tessellation cannot work. Now.
However if you look at the original figure.6: In this figure. We began with the red figure and added in the blue figure above and at an angle to the original. we began with the red vertex and added a blue one below it to begin expanding it. Then.6. This means that. if we did this. To continue the tessellation. 3. we added a green figure to the right side of the blue one. To proceed we must add another figure to where the arrow indicates. 6 . there is no tessellation possible. there is no part that extends outwards and can fit into the indicated area. we would have to add in another figure at the indicated area. we would have to attach to hexagons below the triangles that would in turn over lap the blue and green figure. However. More specifically we would have to add the two triangles to that area.3.This example is very similar to the previous example on page 4.
that area is already occupied by the red 43-gon and the two would overlap destroying the tessellation.3. Another way to show that it doesn’t work is because for the tessellation to continue. However. initial vertex we began with. The first way is that to complete the blue vertex. The large red object seems to be a circle but it is actually a 43-gon. 3. This vertex can be shown to not work in two ways. we would have to put another 43-gon next to the blue triangle.43: The above figure is a bit confusing. which clearly is not possible. The red shape shows the first.8. a side of the 43-gon would have to fit into the indicated area.7. The blue shape shows the beginning of the next shape.24: 7 .
18: This explanation is very similar to the explanations on page 6.10. If the triangle is put there. 3. However there is no possible way to do that. the 18-gon that extends from it will overlap the beginning one. The only plausible shape to add there would be a triangle. This area is can only be filled by the triangle of the three figures.9.15: 8 .This shape only involves one vertex to show why it doesn’t work. meaning that it would not be possible. The arrow indicates a narrow gap in the first vertex drawn. To continue this tessellation we would have to add in another vertex in the indicated area. 3. However if we add another 24-gon next to that triangle it would overlap the original.
The same explanation is shown again in this example. This means that this is not possible. The only shape that can fit in the indicated area is a triangle.10: 9 .5. The initial vertex is shown in red and the second blue vertex was placed under it. but when another 15-gon or 10-gon is attached to that triangle it will overlap the initial ones. 4. one of the shapes (the pentagon) changes orientation.20: This vertex is not possible because the for the second shape that is drawn to fit the 20-gon. As you can see. the pentagon must be placed upside down. 5. to fit in the rest of the tessellation.5.
184.108.40.206.6.8.3. 3.4.3. The original picture began with the diamond colored in red.3. and 3. 3.4. 4. However when we added the second vertex (blue) the two 10-gons overlapped in the green area. 3.6.8. 4.6.12. 3. the original vertex is overlapped by the green “diamond”.3.3. 10 .In this vertex.4. This means that it is not possible to have this tessellation.220.127.116.11. In conclusion the 8 semi-regular tessellations are 3.6.6.