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Mathematics  2012 

A note on the pyjama problem

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejc.2013.03.001

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This note concerns the so-called pyjama problem, whether it is possible to cover the plane by finitely many rotations of vertical strips of half-width $\varepsilon$. We first prove that there exist no periodic coverings for $\e<1/3$. Then we describe an explicit (non-periodic) construction for $\e =1/3-1/48$. Finally, we use a compactness argument combined with some ideas from additive combinatorics to show that a finite covering exists for $\e =1/5$. The question whether $\e$ can be arbitrarily small remains open.


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