Thomas Fernique

CNRS & Univ. Paris 13

As a researcher in theoretical computer science at the CNRS in Paris (France), my work often concerns mathematical objects whose beauty can seduce beyond the scientific circle. Making them tangible objects aims to establish a bridge between artistic and scientific sensibilities.

A binary triangulated circle packing
20 x 20 x 1 cm
0.6mm thick stained tulipwood on MDF, varnish

A circle packing is said to be triangulated if all the holes between the disks are delimited by exactly three disks. When there are only two sizes of disks, making a triangulated circle packing is only possible with 9 "magic" ratios of disk sizes (these are very particular algebraic numbers). This marquetry represents one of these 9 cases, namely the one that was discovered last (by T. Kennedy in 2006).