The Broken Heart Tangram
“Tangram (Chinese: 七巧板; pinyin: qī qiǎo bǎn; literally “seven boards of skill”) is a dissection puzzle. It consists of seven pieces, called tans, which fit together to form a shape of some sort. The objective is to form a specific shape with seven pieces. The shape has to contain all the pieces, which may not overlap. ”
The classical Tangram puzzle looks like this:
It is possible to make many shapes from these pieces; some of which are below (taken from tangrams.ca)
If you would like to have a go at making your own Tangram shapes then you can make your own Tangram set out of paper, buy a nice wooden one, try this java applet or use this Mathematica demonstration (written by ) using the free Mathplayer from Wolfram Research. There is even a Tangram game for the Nintendo DS!
In the week leading up to Valentine’s day I wondered if there is a standard variation of the classical Tangram puzzle that is constructed from a heart shape and I was delighted to discover that there is. Using Enrique’s Mathematica code as a starting point I wrote a demonstration called Broken Heart Tangram and it was published on the Wolfram Demonstrations site today.
I hope you have fun with this demonstration and would love to see some of the shapes that you come up with. As always, comments are welcomed.
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