Scientists Discover a New Mathematical Tile

One of math’s more curious mysteries lies in the world of pentagons and patterns. While an infinite number of possibilities exist, only 14 convex pentagons are known to be able to “tile the plane”—meaning that when placed together, they fit together perfectly. Now, after 30 years since the last breakthrough, a team comprised of Jennifer McLoud-Mann, Casey Mann and David Von Derau of the University of Washington, Bothell have discovered the 15th piece to the pentagonal puzzle. And perhaps the most wonderful part of this discovery is not knowing whether it’s the last of its kind—until the next one is found.