PerfectPrecision 2D Geometry Using Complex Integer Rings
Table of Contents
 Motivation: 2D Geometry without Floating Point Numbers
 Discretizing The Complex Numbers
 Numbers With Symbolic Complex Root Dimensions
 The Happy Family of Complex Integer Rings
 There are far more complex integers than you’d expect
 Where do these numbers come from, and are there more?
 Using $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_r$ to represent polygon vertex coordinates
 Appendix: Some Python code
Everybody with a STEM degree knows and (hopefully) loves complex numbers, but I bet that most people have never heard of complex integer rings. One reason could be that it appears to be a niche pure math topic with no practical applications. At least, that is what you could come to believe after skimming relevant Wikipedia articles.
The idea seems to come from a parallel universe where people discovered $\mathbb{N}$, $\mathbb{Z}$, maybe even $\mathbb{Q}$, but did not care about continuity – skipping $\mathbb{R}$. Instead, they directly tried to extend $\mathbb{Z}$ into a second dimension. This extension can be done in different ways, and each way gives us a commutative ring of complex integers.
If I had stumbled into that topic without any context, I would have just moved on. However, in this post I want to convince you that complex integers are actually a pretty neat concept. In fact, I accidentally reinvented it from scratch while trying to find a solution to a rather concrete problem related to 2D geometry – the need to trace out points along polygon boundaries with perfect precision.
Motivation: 2D Geometry without Floating Point Numbers
Imagine that you want to do some simple 2D geometry – working with points, line segments and polygons. Typically we do this in $\mathbb{R}^2$, the familiar Euclidean plane. Here we can measure distances and angles, express rotations, translations and much more, but there is one problem – we heavily depend on real numbers, which we typically approximate using floating point numbers. Mathematicians might be blissfully ignorant about it, but anyone who implements geometric algorithms in practice knows the pain of working with floatingpoint arithmetic:
 Floating point numbers can behave weird with $\pm 0$, $\pm \infty$ and NaN
 Precision is limited – very small and very large numbers are not exact
 Checking for equality is dangerous without some $\varepsilon>0$ of tolerance
Instead of $\mathbb{R}^2$ we can use $\mathbb{C}$ and pretend that the imaginary axis is our $y$ axis. This makes some things easier and more elegant. For example, there is no more need for trigonometric functions and rotation matrices, as rotations turn into multiplication with $e^{i\pi k}$.
As complex numbers are canonically represented as a pair of two real numbers, this could be considered a cosmetic change. Yet, it is the first step towards to the solution, as complex numbers are intrinsically twodimensional. What is left to do is getting rid of the real numbers underneath, to free ourselves from the floatingpoint plague.
Now you could scream “But what about performance? Modern CPUs and GPUs are heavily optimized for crunching floating point numbers!”, and if that is your major concern, than probably you will not get much out of this post. If you want to develop a game or render an animation, all of this is a huge waste of your time. But if you are interested in working with polygons abstractly, e.g. in the context of tilings, and also happen to value correctness over speed in your use case, then you will agree that floating point numbers can be a major nuisance.
Discretizing The Complex Numbers
As it is widely known, each complex number can be written in polar coordinates in the form $r e^{i\pi\theta}$, with a length $r\in\mathbb{R}$ and an angle $\theta\in[\pi, \pi]$.
While it might not be the canonical story of how complex numbers are derived, one can also imagine that the complex number field is actually generated algebraically, by starting with the length unit $1 = 1\cdot e^{i\pi\cdot 0}$, and closing it under scaling and rotations, i.e. every point of the complex plane is representable by a combination of a scaling of the length unit by $r$ (this gives you the real line), and then rotating all these points by all possible angles $\theta$.^{[1]} To this set of points now attach all the structure and common operations you expect to have at your disposal (such as addition and multiplication), and there you have your familiar complex number field.
Now here is a crazy idea: what if we could make both $r$ and $\theta$ integers?
Making the length discrete is simple – just restrict $r$ to $\mathbb{Z}$ and only allow scaling by integers. But what about rotations? Just like the number 1 is the smallest, atomic unit of length in the integers, let us do something similar to rotations and pick a smallest, atomic unit of rotation. Can we build a number system where we have not only “pixelated” lengths, but also rotation steps? And which angle should we pick?
Numbers With Symbolic Complex Root Dimensions
Let us start very simple and say that the smallest rotation we want to allow is 90 degrees, which is $\frac{1}{4}$ of a full turn and can be written as $e^{i \frac{\pi}{2}} = i$. If we now require that each number must be of the form $a + bi$ with $a, b \in \mathbb{Z}$ and check that operations on these numbers result only in numbers with the same property, then we have accidentally rediscovered the Gaussian integers, also written $\mathbb{Z}[i]$. Gaussian integers form a square grid in the complex plane on which you can perform most common operations (notably, excluding division – making it a commutative ring and not a field), but we are limited to rotations that are multiples of 90 degrees, making $i$ our unit of rotation.
Let us stick with Gaussian integers for a moment and massage them a little bit. The transformations might look unmotivated, but I promise that everything will fall into place soon. First, notice that each Gaussian integer is a pair of integers where each number gives us a magnitude along a dimension – one dimension is $1$ and the other is $i$. Also note that $i$ is a symbolic root, a fancy name given to $\sqrt{1}$, and trivially, we have $1 = \sqrt{1}$. So each Gaussian integer can be written as $a\cdot \sqrt{1} + b \cdot \sqrt{1} = (a+bi)\sqrt{1}$, and each number can be rotated by $e^{i\pi\cdot k} = i^k = (i\cdot\sqrt{1})^k$.
Rotating by only 90 degrees is quite limiting, so let’s move on to 60 degrees. A rotation by 60 degrees is $\frac{1}{6}$ of a full turn. This rotation can be written as:
$$ e^{i\frac{\pi}{3}} = \frac{1}{2} + \frac{i\sqrt{3}}{2} $$
So for 60 degree rotations we need to track terms involving $\sqrt{3}$, because this is an irrational number, and we do not want to evaluate those (remember the evil floating point numbers!). So what we do now is pretending that, just like $i$, the number $\sqrt{3}$ is a special symbolic term and we consider it to be the magnitude along another pseudodimension of our “60degreerotatable complex integers” that only intersects with the real axis in the origin (i.e. just like the imaginary axis).
Walking around the unit circle in steps of 60 degrees, you can convince yourself that all six rotations $e^{k\cdot i\frac{\pi}{3}}$ for $k\in\{0,1,2,3,4,5\}$ can be written in the form $\frac{1}{2}(a + b\cdot i\sqrt{3})$ for some $a, b \in\mathbb{Z}$. Now if you check which complex numbers can be reached by iteratively adding and multiplying only numbers that can be factored in that way, you might notice that we rediscovered the Eisenstein integers, which form a triangular grid in the complex plane.
In other words, the closure of the six rotated units (i.e. the numbers corresponding to the set of unit length vectors pointing in all possible directions) under all operations needed for a commutative ring (such as $+$ and $\cdot$) generates the Eisenstein integers. Furthermore, these rotated units themselves are redundant, as they are generated by repeated multiplication of what we can identify as, respectively, the length unit and the rotation unit of our new number system:
$$ 1 = \frac{1}{2}(2 + 0\cdot i\sqrt{3}),\hspace{5mm} e^{i\frac{\pi}{3}} = \frac{1}{2}(1 + 1\cdot i\sqrt{3}) $$
Note that in this structure, the derived rotated units form a cyclic group that can act on any point. In that sense, the Gaussian integers essentially combine $\mathbb{Z}$ with $\mathbb{Z}_4$, whereas Eisenstein integers correspond to $\mathbb{Z}$ with $\mathbb{Z}_6$. So what we did here is substituting the continuous rotation symmetry of the unit circle with the discrete symmetry of a cyclic group. This naturally corresponds to a regular polygon in the complex plane whose vertices are located at coordinates of the different rotated units $e^{k\cdot i\frac{\pi}{3}}$.
This is pretty neat, but still of rather limited use. In the Gaussian integers we can trace out squares, rectangles or polyminoes, with the Eisenstein integers we can walk along the boundaries of hexagons, triangles, polyiamonds or polyhexes, but we can’t do both in the same number system. If we are interested in representing more general polygons, these rings are not enough – we need finer angles.
The Happy Family of Complex Integer Rings
Were we just lucky with $i$ and $\sqrt{3}$, or are there other angles from which we can derive a similar complex integer ring? Well, I will spare you the convoluted path of my personal discovery of these structures and just jump straight to the answers I found and relevant conjectures I have.
First, remember the weird way how I wrote down the numbers in the previous section. The reason for this is that everything you already saw and will see here neatly fits into the same general pattern.
Definition: A number $z \in \mathbb{C}$ is a symbolic complex root number if it can be written as $\frac{1}{l}\sum_{k=1}^{n} c_k\sqrt{d_k}$, where $l\in\mathbb{N}$ and for all $k$ we have $c_k \in \mathbb{Z}[i]$ and $d_k \in \mathbb{R}_+$.
Note: The coefficients $c_k \in \mathbb{Z}[i]$ can be substituted by requiring $a_k + b_k i$ with $a_k, b_k \in \mathbb{Z}$, but using Gaussian integers as firstclass citizens here is not just a syntactic change, but actually immensely simplifies computation in practice.
Now, without any further ado, in the following table I present to you all complex integer rings that I was able to construct. The mere existence of these rings is not news, but a practical parametrization and implementation is not something I was able to find in an accessible form anywhere, so I hope it can be of some value. Here is the legend of the table:
 name: memorable name for the complex integer ring
 $r$: the smallest possible rotation is $\frac{1}{r}$ or a full turn
 $l$: scaling factor to fit into the normal form and make all coefficients integers
 $n$: number of distinct roots needed to represent a number in the ring
 $d_k$: list of squares of those required symbolic roots
 rotation unit: the smallest possible rotation, expressed in the normal form
name  $r$  $l$  $n$  $d_k$  rotation unit 

Gaussian  4  1  1  1  $e^{i\frac{2\pi}{4}} = \frac{1}{1}(i\cdot\sqrt{1}) = i$ 
Eisenstein  6  2  2  1, 3  $e^{i\frac{2\pi}{6}} = \frac{1}{2}(1\cdot\sqrt{1} + i\cdot\sqrt{3})$ 
Compass  8  2  2  1, 2  $e^{i\frac{2\pi}{8}} = \frac{1}{2}((1+i)\cdot\sqrt{2})$ 
Penrose  10  8  4  1, 5, $\star$, 5$\star$ $\scriptsize \star=2(5\sqrt{5})$  $e^{i\frac{2\pi}{10}} = \frac{1}{8}(2\cdot\sqrt{1} + 2\cdot\sqrt{5}+\ 2i \cdot\sqrt{\star})$ 
Clock  12  2  2  1, 3  $e^{i\frac{2\pi}{12}} = \frac{1}{2}(i\cdot\sqrt{1} + 1\cdot\sqrt{3})$ 
Digiclock  24  4  4  1, 2, 3, 6  $e^{i\frac{2\pi}{24}} = \frac{1}{4}((1i)\cdot\sqrt{2} + (1+i)\cdot\sqrt{6})$ 
By $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_r$ I will denote the ring with $\frac{1}{r}$ of a turn as the smallest rotation. The set for $r=10$, for example, is what I called the Penrose integers^{[2]}, because they are the only ones in the list that allow for the fivefold symmetry needed to draw Penrose tiles. The compass integers I named that way because you can go in all the 8 directions labelled on a compass, the clock integers I think are selfexplanatory, and the digiclock integers are essentially “finer clock integers” and unite the degrees of freedom provided by the clock and compass integers. For my purposes though, I mostly prefer working with the clock integers.
There are far more complex integers than you’d expect
Now you have seen the Gaussian and Eisenstein integer lattices, and could naively, as I did, assume that all the rings will form a similar simple lattice as you have seen above. However, it turns out that once you go beyond the Eisenstein integers, you can reach many more different points in the same bounded area of the complex plane!
I wrote a little script that starts at the origin and explores the ring in a breadthfirstsearch inside the area of the complex plane bounded by the circle with radius 2 around the origin, up to some number of iterations. In each step, the current set of points is expanded by walking one unit into all directions possible in the ring. Thus, the color in the plots groups points that were discovered in the same round of the exploration.
Here are the Gaussian and Eisenstein integers that you have seen before:
As we saw before, both form a simple grid and in each finite area of the complex plane there are finitely many points that belong to that grid. Now for comparison, here are the plots for all the other rings in the list. You can easily identify the depicted ring based on the very apparent rotational symmetry that is emphasized by the colors:
Not only does the set of reachable points seem to never stop growing, but the pictures all exhibit a neat selfsimilar structure, making it look like those sets might be actually dense sets in the complex plane. I did not find known results about this, but the pictures at least make this look like a plausible conjecture.
For the digiclock integers I reduced the number of exploration rounds, that is why that plot looks a bit different from the others (otherwise you could not see anything in the picture but a solid yellow circle). But what you can see instead is how the number of reachable points quickly explodes exponentially with the increasing number of different directions that are available.
Here are a few zoomedin plots of the more tame (and also computationally efficient) clock integers. Note that the obviously missing points have just not been reached yet with the chosen number of rounds.
But even if the sets of points that make up those rings are not dense in the plane, there clearly are points around which you can discover more and more new nearby points, recursively. So what I think the images at least strongly suggest is that unlike in Gaussian and Eisenstein integers, for each point in these rings there can be infinitely many other points at distance at most 1 from it. I did not spend time on trying to prove or disprove these conjectures, because my main interest was actually something else entirely (to draw some polygons, remember?). But if someone knows the definite answer here, I would still be very interested to know about it!
Where do these numbers come from, and are there more?
If you wonder how I found suitable symbolic roots to use, the answer is embarrassingly simple – a lot of guesswork and many hours of fooling around with Wolfram Alpha to transform and check complex number expressions, until I could see which common terms always show up and can be factored out. This was quite painful, given that there are myriads of equivalent ways how any given algebraic expression involving $i$ and various square roots can be written, but luckily it all worked out.
I actually started without using Gaussian integers as coefficients, so for some of the rings I had to deal with $8\times 8$ matrices while understanding the multiplicative behavior of the symbolic dimensions. The repackaging to Gaussian integers reduced that down to just $4 \times 4$. So the definition of symbolic root numbers as presented above is actually the crystallized result out of a long and tedious process.
The angles I built complex integer rings from were just some low hanging fruit I picked and succeeded with, and naturally the question arises whether this works for any angle, and if not, for which angles it is possible? Here is the point where I must warn about the increasingly handwavy nature of the remainder of this section.
It turns out that each complex integer ring as the ones we have seen is a restriction of a cyclotomic field, which is a similar structure, but based on extending $\mathbb{Q}$ into the complex plane instead of $\mathbb{Z}$. I would be lying if I said that I understand much about this topic, because it seems to go pretty deep, but what is important to answer the questions above is the fact that these fields exist only for certain parameters, and without proof, based on what information could piece together and comprehend, I believe that this can be translated to complex integer rings we saw here as follows.
Definition: An angle $\frac{2\pi}{k}$ is constructible iff $k$ is a power of two, multiplied by a subset of distinct Fermat primes.
Note that currently the only known Fermat primes are $\{3, 5, 17, 257, 65537\}$ and it is conjectured that these are the only ones that exist.
Conjecture: $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_{2k}$ exists if and only if $\frac{2\cdot\pi}{k}$ is a constructible angle.
My feeling says that this is quite likely to be true, but I am not sure if my complex root normal form would work for all of the possible rings. However, I never said that these rings all have to be representable that way, it is just a form I came up with that is very convenient for practical implementation.
Note that all the rings I presented here have an even number in the angle fraction $r$. I think that a factor of 2 is unavoidable due to the ability of negating a point, which is reflecting it to the opposite side across the origin, thereby “halving a unit rotation” if the underlying number of rotation steps is odd. For example, the Eisenstein integers can be defined by using only $\frac{1}{3}$ rotations, but you can still easily derive a $\frac{1}{6}$ unit length rotation (go and try it, it is very simple!), thus making them $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_6$ in my classification.
All of this means that the only rings I am missing between Gaussian and digiclock integers are $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_x$ with $x\in\{16, 20\}$, i.e. refined versions of compass and Penrose integers^{[3]}, and the next ones after the digiclock integers should be the rings $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_y$ with $y\in\{30,32,34\}$, because $30 = 2\cdot 3\cdot 5$, $32 = 2^5$ and $34 = 2\cdot 17$.
In case you wondered, I think that all of this machinery could also rather easily be generalized to work with $\mathbb{Q}$ by relaxing integrality of the coefficients, but once we would try to close the rings under division to obtain a full representation of the corresponding cyclotomic fields, this would also require tracing symbolic terms of the form $\frac{1}{\sqrt{d}}$. I am quite confident that this is doable in principle, but I did not care enough to try it, because for my purposes the rings are sufficient and much less computationally expensive.
Using $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_r$ to represent polygon vertex coordinates
In the beginning I claimed that all of this has something to do with 2D geometry and polygons. But I must admit that the whole framework of $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_r$based polygons I am working on is still a workinprogress. What you have seen here is both an intermediate milestone in my project and an introduction preparing the stage for what comes next. There will definitely be a followup post, once it all has matured enough and as soon as time allows me to write it down. I just felt like this whole sidestory about complex integer rings was big and interesting enough to stand on its own.
To give you a little glimpse, my unorthodox approach to polygons is based on describing them as a sequence of unit length steps in a sufficiently rich complex integer ring. Such an abstract sequence can be realized into a polygon boundary by following the respective directions from a chosen starting point and direction. It can be considered to be a kind of barebones Turtle graphics. Many common and interesting shapes can be described just by using this simple formalism, and it allows for some very efficient implementations of typically rather cumbersome operations^{[4]}. In the followup post, I am going to explain in detail how it all works, what the main limitations are, and what operations are supported.
I conclude this post with some pictures of shapes that you can draw even with the restriction to $\mathbb{Z}\mathbb{Z}_r$valued vertex points. While it might not look very exciting or impressive, the key achievement here is that each vertex point is respresented internally only by integers^{[5]}, there is no floating point arithmetic involved until the very last step of converting the numbers into screen or plot coordinates.
The top row shows the classic three regular polygons that tile the plane, the bottom row shows the two Penrose rhombus tiles, and finally the skeleton of the recently discovered spectre tile^{[6]}. The Penrose rhombs are represented using Penrose integers (obviously), all the others are based on clock integers.
In the followup post I will discuss how exactly paths of unitlength segments are used to describe polygonal tiles, what the advantage of this representation is, how to ensure that the resulting boundary is closed and not selfintersecting, and how compatible tiles can be combined to form larger tiles – and all that without the need of any fancy numerical computational geometry software or heavy algorithms, just by using this elegant algebraic approach.
Appendix: Some Python code
I talked so much about practical implementation of the rings that I cannot leave you without any code snippet for playing with these numbers. The implementation is certainly not optimal, but it works well enough for a proofofconcept and was used to generate all the pictures (in combination with plotly).
"""Naive implementation of complex integer rings in Python."""
# Copyright (C) 2024 Anton Pirogov, licensed under the MIT License
=
=
"""Number from a complex integer ring with discrete rotation steps.
This base class is just a wrapper around an integer, providing machinery for nontrivial subclasses.
A number is represented as a vector of rational numbers,
each component denoting the coefficient multiplied by a symbolic root term,
such as i, sqrt(2), etc. (technically, we use it only for square roots
of positive and negative integers).
Note that there is no meaningful notion of a classical angle or distance between two
points, because the result usually is not itself part of the ring or not uniquely
defined inside the ring. Those values can be computed after conversion to the
conventional complex numbers.
See https://pirogov.de/blog/perfectprecision2dgeometrycomplexintegers/
"""
: =
: =
"""Squares of units of the symbolic root dimensions that are represented by the number."""
: = 1
"""Rotation unit in the ring is 1/R of a full turn."""
: = 1
"""Dimension unit scaling factor is 1/L (needed to make all coefficients integers)."""
: =
"""Coefficients of normal form representation of the rotation unit."""
# 
:
"""Vector with coefficients of the number."""
"""Symbolic dimension multiplication table."""
= ,
, return
"""Smallest unit rotation vector (generates all rotations)."""
return
=
=
=
=
assert ==
=
"""Zero point."""
return
"""Unit pointing toward positive side of the real axis."""
return
"""Vector of smallest supported rotation."""
return
"""Get a unit vector oriented into the desired direction."""
return *
# 
return
return
return +
return +
# scalar multiplication
return
# special vector multiplication
return
return *
%=
=
*=
return
= .
return
= .
return
= .
return
= .
return
# 
"""Convert to complex number, i.e. multiply and sum the encoded symbolic terms."""
=
=
return
"""Returns (Re(val), Im(val))."""
=
return
"""Return Re(val)."""
return
"""Return Im(val)."""
return
# 
return
return
return False
return True
return
return
return
"""Prettyprint number in humanreadable algebraic form."""
return
return
= f
=
return f
= *
return
=
return f
= ,
,
return
return
return f
=
=
return
= f
return
return f
"""Numbers with 90 degree rotations (Gaussian integers).
This is the only instance where the resulting dimensions are orthogonal
and exactly match the two axes of the complex plane.
"""
= 4
=
= 1
=
= ,
, return
"""Numbers with 60 degree rotations (Eisenstein).
Note that this is equivalent to using 120 degree rotations as basis, but
the 120 degree rotation basis is improper, because it is not minimal
(one can produce 60 deg. rotations from linear combinations of 120 degree rotations).
Can also be represented in symbolic root normal form (see EisenClockInt).
"""
= 6
=
= 2
=
= ,
, return
"""A complex symbolic root number with Gaussian Integers as coefficients.
This base class is just a wrapper around a GaussInt, providing machinery
to represent different complex integer rings in symbolic root normal form, i.e
1/l(c_i*sqrt(d_i)) with c_i being Gaussian integers, l in Z, d_i in R+.
"""
=
=
=
, return
return
"""Numbers with 45 degree rotations (compass integers)."""
= 8
=
= 2
=
# Dimension multiplication matrix (for Z[i]valued vectors):
# c d
# a [1 s]
# b [s 2]
# where s = sqrt(2)
= ,
, return
"""Numbers with 36 degree rotations (Penrose integers)."""
= 2* # common term for needed symbolic root dimensions
= 10
=
= 8
=
# condensed version (if vectors were Z[i]valued):
# x=sq5, y=2(5x)
# e f g h
# a [1 , x , y , xy ]
# b [ x , 5 , xy , 5 y ]
# c [ y , xy , 102x , 10(x1)]
# d [ xy , 5 y , 10(x1), 10(5x)]
# where x = sqrt(5), y = sqrt(2*(5sqrt(5)))
= ,
, return
"""Numbers with 30 degree rotations (clock integers)"""
= 12
=
= 2
=
# Dimension multiplication matrix (for Z[i]valued vectors):
# c d
# a [1 s]
# b [s 3]
# where s = sqrt(3)
= ,
, return
"""Normalform representation of Eisenstein numbers (just for illustration purposes)."""
= 6
return .
"""Numbers with 15 degree rotations (digiclock numbers)."""
= 24
=
= 4
=
# Dimension multiplication matrix (for Z[i]valued vectors):
# e f g h
# a [1 , x , y , xy ]
# b [ x , 2 , xy , 2 y ]
# c [ y , xy , 3 , 3x ]
# d [ xy , 2 y , 3x , 6 ]
=
, return
=
"""Convenience access to different complex integer classes."""
# half cycle = 1
assert == 
assert == 1
# full cycle = 1
assert ==
assert == 1
# check deviation from reference of complex rotation vs matrix
# and correctness of direct multiplication table vs rotation matrix
= **
=
assert < 1e15
# check unit multiplication (should rotate correctly)
= *
=
assert ==
A little demonstration:
>>>
>>>
2/2 = 1.0
/2 =
/2 =
/2 = 1j
/2 =
/2 =
/2 = 1.0
/2 =
/2 =
/2 =
/2 =
/2 =
>>> = + 2*
>>>
>>> # == 1+2*e**(1j*pi/6)

Notice how the geometrical interpretation of polar coordinates naturally implies and maps onto these actions. ↩

These were also the most painful to figure out, and the reason why in the definition above I had to allow $d_i \in \mathbb{R}_+$ instead of $\mathbb{N}$. ↩

Figuring out a parametrization of these rings I leave as an exercise to the reader. ↩

However, I cannot fully exclude the possibility that I am in the process of reinventing the wheel, as often. Maybe the tricks I found are already folk wisdom and old news, but who knows. ↩

If you would see the code, you’d notice that the coordinates are implemented as rational numbers, because I did not figure out a nice way to pull out the $\frac{1}{l}$ factors out of my matrices without everything becoming a big mess. But as a rational numbers are pairs of integers, this is just a nitpicky technical detail. ↩

Technically, this is an instance of the hat tile, the spectre is obtained from this polygon by replacing all the segments connecting vertices with certain curves. You can even get your own set of spectres as a wooden puzzle! That was one impulse buy I did not regret at all. ↩