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Taking principles from fractal geometry and the strategic game of chess, they have created what they say is the most fiendishly difficult maze ever devised.

Led by physicist Felix Flicker of the University of Bristol in the UK, the group has generated routes called Hamiltonian cycles in patterns known as Ammann-Beenker tilings, producing complex fractal mazes that, they say, describe an exotic form of matter known as quasicrystals.

"When we looked at the shapes of the lines we constructed, we noticed they formed incredibly intricate mazes. The sizes of subsequent mazes grow exponentially – and there are an infinite number of them," Flicker explains.

"In a Knight's tour, the chess piece (which jumps two squares forwards and one to the right) visits every square of the chessboard just once before returning to its starting square. This is an example of a 'Hamiltonian cycle' – a loop through a map visiting all stopping points only once."

Quasicrystals are a form of matter only found very extremely rarely in nature. They're sort of a strange hybrid of ordered and disordered crystals in solids.

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