This sculpted form is based on three-dimensional models of four different shapes (zonohedra) that can be combined as building blocks to form quasicrystals.
This sculpture of a quasicrystal is made up of six building blocks, three fashioned from limestone and three from glass. The projections on the blocks represent the rules that define how the blocks can be combined to form larger structures.
"Charles August Fey began inventing and manufacturing slot machines in 1894. Fey pioneered many innovations of coin operated gaming devices in his San Francisco workshop at 406 Market Street, including the original three-reel bell slot slot machine in 1898. The international popularity of the bell slot machines attests to Fey's ingenuity as an enterprising inventor whose basic design of the three reel slot machine continues to be used in mechanical gaming devices today."
Welcome to an occasional series devoted to "cool stuff" that I encounter while browsing the world of mathematics and computer science. I'll peek at new developments in math and its applications, and I'll revisit old puzzles, famous problems, and historic events—anything mathematical that happens to catch my eye. I hope you'll find something of value in these brief, informal forays into the world of math.
Ivars Peterson is a freelance writer and editor. He was Director of Publications at the Mathematical Association of America from 2007 to 2014. As an award-winning mathematics writer, he previously worked at Science News for more than 25 years and served as editor of Science News Online and Science News for Kids. His books include The Mathematical Tourist, Islands of Truth, Newton's Clock, and Fragments of Infinity: A Kaleidoscope of Math and Art.