Tiling Efflorescence of Expanding Kernels in a Fixed Periodic Array

Generalizing the Flower-of-Life

  • Robert J Marks II
Keywords: tiling, emergence, periodicity, flower of life, efflorescence, triquetra


Continually expanding periodically translated kernels on the two dimensional grid can yield interesting, beau- tiful and even familiar patterns. For example, expand- ing circular pillbox shaped kernels on a hexagonal grid, adding when there is overlap, yields patterns includ- ing maximally packed circles and a triquetra-type three petal structure used to represent the trinity in Chris- tianity. Continued expansion yields the flower-of-life used extensively in art and architecture. Additional expansion yields an even more interesting emerging ef- florescence of periodic functions. Example images are given for the case of circular pillbox and circular cone shaped kernels. Using Fourier analysis, fundamental properties of these patterns are analyzed. As a func- tion of expansion, some effloresced functions asymp- totically approach fixed points or limit cycles. Most interesting is the case where the efflorescence never repeats. Video links are provided for viewing efflores- cence in real time.