Penrose refrigerator magnets brighten your kitchen, mind and conversation. Start by playing and connecting them in any way you like. Once you're familiar with the darts and kites, challenge yourself to create unique patterns that grow infinitely (literally). Get your first set today.
$1 – Thank you! Penrose magnets are a fun and interactive way to learn about the math of nature, so for every $5 in this pledge level, we will donate one packet to a local school.
$5 – One Pack of Lime Green and Purple, Tangerine and Purple or Tangerine and Teal Penrose Magnets. Bring colorful harmony into your home! (International supporters please add $1 to your order for shipping).
$14 – Three packs of Penrose Magnets, one of each color combination above. This is the "Genius" pack. Three times as likely to start a conversation! (International supporters please add $3 to your order for shipping).
$22 – Five packs of Penrose Magnets. This is the "Super Genius" pack. With this reward level you get to specify what color combination you receive. Become mesmerized by the wonderstanding! (International supporters please add $5 to your order for shipping).
$175 – Fifty packs of Penrose Magnets. This is the "Ultimate Genius" or Retail pack. Fifty packs will completely transform the average refrigerator. Send us a picture on Facebook! (International supporters please contact us for shipping rates to your home country).
Based on five-fold (pentagonal) symmetry, Penrose tiles capture the self-similarity of natural crystals. This quasicrystalline pattern is remarkable because it can completely cover an area without repeating itself. It also exhibits self-similarity at larger and larger scales. This means the placement of tiles not only depends on the tile next to it, but those all around it! Although, you will not observe this effect with two or less tile packs, the genius pack will let you explore the remarkable pattern (and difficulty!).
In a large quasicrystal, Kites outnumber Darts 1.618 to 1. This is the famous ratio known as the Golden Ratio (and Phi or Φ). Found in subatomic particles, sunflowers, seashells, and even the spiral of our Galaxy, Phi is at the very heart of nature. Phi is at the heart of our pattern, and is used to both determine the number of tiles needed and the length of the sides of the Darts and Kites.
It will take a little practice, but with just one simple matching-rule, you can create an infinite variety of patterns (these instructions will be printed on each pack of magnets). Check below and check out our Facebook page for awesome examples!
In order to obtain the required level of precision to ensure perfect patterns, we have chosen to use professional grade die cutting. The magnets have been prototyped with the assistance of local businesses which specialize in die manufacturing, magnetic sheeting, and die cutting. Your contribution will be used to fund the creation of production dies and to source the colorful magnetic sheeting. Once these items are received we will cut the magnets and ship without delay. You can expect your packet a month after funding is complete.
Who discovered Penrose Tiles?
Inspired by Johannes Kepler’s work in 1619, Roger Penrose first described two shapes that create a quasicrystalline pattern in 1974. It is an exceptional achievement, considering the Golden Ratio is an irrational number, and the shape of the tiles could not be found with a computer.
How are the magnets made?
We use die cutting machines to press the tiles out of .030” thick magnetic sheeting. We chose a thick magnetic sheeting to insure the magnets adhere strongly and will not bend easily.
How many magnets are in a pack?
There are 50 magnets in each pack. Since the shape of the magnets is based on the Golden Ratio, the ratio of darts to kites is also 1:1.618. Thus you will receive 31 kites and 19 darts in each pack.
How are the magnets packaged?
The magnets are packaged in small paper envelopes modeled after traditional seed packets
This looks too easy. What is the catch?
You will be surprised at the difficulty of putting together a functioning Penrose pattern. We tested the difficulty with friends and family, and all have remarked at the unusual difficulty (but not impossibility) of the pattern. We have found ourselves spending an hour with the pattern while conversing in the kitchen. Refer to the picture above for what might take an hour to complete with three packets.
Do you have high-resolution images of the magnets?