More than half a century before the modern mathematical theory called quasicrystal geometry was discovered in the West, Muslim artists were using it to create intricate, non-repeating tile patterns in buildings. These patterns are now known as Penrose tiling, after the quantum physicist Roger Penrose, who only discovered this theory 30 years ago.

In the Independent, Steve Connor explains that this geometrical formula has to do with ?non-repeating patterns on a flat surface? and is based on 10-sided shapes. Connor quotes mathematician Peter Lu as saying, “It could be proof of a major role of mathematics in medieval Islamic art, or it could have been just a way for artisans to construct their art more easily. At the very least it shows us that a culture we often don’t credit enough was far more advanced than we thought before.”

This undoubtedly came about because Muslim artists are prohibited from depicting people or animals in their art.

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