Questions related to polyhedra and their properties.

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28
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4answers
19k views

Why are there 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons on a soccer ball?

Edge-attaching many hexagons results in a plane. Edge-attaching pentagons yields a dodecahedron. Is there some insight into why the alternation of pentagons and hexagons yields an approximated ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the Coxeter diagram for?

I understand that Coxeter diagrams are supposed to communicate something about the structure of symmetry groups of polyhedra, but I am baffled about what that something is, or why the Coxeter ...
16
votes
3answers
822 views

How many sewings are there on a soccer ball?

A soccer ball is obtained by sewing $20$ hexagonal pieces of leather and $12$ pieces of leather of pentagonal shape. A sewing joins together the sides of two adjacent pieces. How many sewings ...
16
votes
2answers
460 views

What property of certain regular polygons allows them to be faces of the Platonic Solids?

It appears to me that only Triangles, Squares, and Pentagons are able to "tessellate" (is that the proper word in this context?) to become regular 3D convex polytopes. What property of those regular ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Making a convex polyhedron with two sheets of paper

Suppose that we have two sheets of paper $S,T$ and that each of $S,T$ is in the shape of a convex quadrilateral. Also, suppose that the length of the perimeter of $S$ equals that of $T$. (Note that ...
14
votes
2answers
413 views

Decomposable Families of Shapes

There are two types of golden triangles in the world, as shown in the following picture: Here $\varphi = \dfrac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}$ denotes the golden ratio. Each of these golden triangles can be ...
13
votes
1answer
296 views

What hexahedra have faces with areas of exactly 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 units?

I tried for a while, not very hard, to construct a polyhedron with exactly six faces, whose areas were respectively 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 units. I did not meet with any success. Still, it seems that ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Volume of 1/2 using hull of finite point set with diameter 1

It's easy to bound a volume of a half. For example, the points $(0,0,0),(0,0,1),(0,1,0),(3,0,0)$ can do it. The problem is harder if no two points can be further than 1 apart. Bound a volume of 1/2 ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Floret Tessellation of a Sphere

I'm a programmer looking to create a 3D model of a Floret Tessellation of a sphere, like the one in this picture Class III 8,11 floret planar net (source) If anyone could point me in the right ...
13
votes
1answer
658 views

Any other Caltrops?

This question has been edited. The regular tetrahedron is a caltrop. When it lands on a face, one vertex points straight up, ready to jab the foot of anyone stepping on it. Define a caltrop as a ...
12
votes
8answers
828 views

Cleverest construction of a dodecahedron / icosahedron?

One can show, as an elementary application of Euler's formula, that there are at most five regular convex polytopes in 3-space. The tetrahedra, cube, and octohedra all admit very intuitive ...
11
votes
2answers
640 views

3D picture of the 38-sided Engel space-filling polyhedron

On page 220 of Peter Engel's Geometric Crystallography, he describes a 38-sided convex polyhedron that can fill space. I've seen this this accepted as the record in various places, but I've never ...
11
votes
1answer
413 views

Largest $n$-vertex polyhedron that fits into a unit sphere

In two dimensions, it is not hard to see that the $n$-vertex polygon of maximum area that fits into a unit circle is the regular $n$-gon whose vertices lie on the circle: For any other vertex ...
11
votes
2answers
445 views

How to prove there are exactly eight convex deltahedra?

A deltahedron is a polyhedron whose faces are equilateral triangles. It is well-known that there are exactly eight convex deltahedra, and it is easy to find out that this was first proved by ...
10
votes
1answer
270 views

Is the Euler characteristic $\chi =2$ for the prism with a hole?

I keep getting $\chi=2$ for the solid in the picture. It's a prism with a hole joining two opposite sides. I remember reading that $\chi=0$ for such solids. Help me find my error. I'd appreciate if ...
10
votes
1answer
242 views

Biggest Little Polyhedron

The Biggest Little Polygon problem asks for the polygon with greatest area where the largest diameter is 1. Let's add a dimension and find the largest volumes. What is the biggest little polyhedron ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

insphere/circumsphere ratio of a polyhedron the same as its dual polyhedron?

Is the $r/R$ ratio for any polyhedron always the same as the $r/R$ ratio of the dual of that polyhedron? Given any polyhedron, we can find the biggest sphere that fits inside it (its insphere) and ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How would you make a (physical) dodecahedron with edges instead of faces?

Call this a "math problem disguised as a woodworking problem" or vice versa. Background: You can construct a dodecahedron by cutting 12 identical, regular pentagon faces, beveling all the edges of ...
10
votes
1answer
397 views

Chebyshev center = center of mass?

I would like to know for which convex polyhedra $P$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$, is the center of the largest sphere enclosed in $P$ (a.k.a. the Chebyshev center, or the incenter) the same as the center of ...
9
votes
5answers
32k views

Height of a tetrahedron

How do I calculate the height of a regular tetrahedron having side length $1$ ? Just to be completely clear, by height I mean if you placed the shape on a table, how high up would the highest point ...
9
votes
4answers
186 views

How many $A_5$ are there inside $A_6$?

I am reading a paper that says: There are $12$ versions of $A_5$ in $A_6$: $1) $ the permutations that leave one thing unmoved. $2)$ the permutations of the six pairs of antipodal ...
9
votes
1answer
120 views

$3\mathrm D$ Projection Of $4\mathrm D$ Polyhedron

Can someone identify this shape? I think it is a $3\mathrm D$ projection of $4\mathrm D$ polyhedron. The body in the center seems to be a truncated octahedron, so as the body in the middle. The ...
9
votes
1answer
340 views

Maximal volume for given surface area of an $n$-hedron

Is there a term for a polyhedron with $n$ faces (or, similarly, $n$ vertices) that maximises the enclosed volume for a given surface area (equivalently, minimises the surface area for a given volume)? ...
8
votes
4answers
16k views

Calculating the probability of a coin falling on its side

A classical example that's given for probability exercises is coin flipping. Generally it is accepted that there are two possible outcomes which are heads or tails. However, it is possible in the real ...
8
votes
2answers
626 views

Is the Euler characteristc defined wrong? If not, why not?

Ever since learning that $$\chi(S_0\# S_1) = \chi(S_0)+\chi(S_1)-2$$ (where $\chi$ denote the Euler characteristic), I've wondered whether $\chi$ isn't "defined wrong." If we let $\chi' = 2-\chi,$ ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Tetrahedron inside a sphere

What's the largest regular tetrahedron (having side length $x$) you can fit inside a sphere with a unit radius?
8
votes
2answers
369 views

Number of distinct nets of dual polyhedra

There are 11 non-congruent nets of a cube as well as 11 distinct nets of an octahedron. Both a dodecahedron and an icosahedron have 43380 distinct nets. Is it true that any pair of dual convex ...
8
votes
3answers
446 views

Three-dimensional art galleries

The well-known art gallery problem starts with an "art gallery" (a simple polygon in the plane, not necessarily convex) and asks for the minimum number of "guards" (points on the polygon) required to ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

The smallest 8 cubes to cover a regular tetrahedron

A regular tetrahedron $T$ of edge-length $\sqrt{2}$ fits inside a unit cube:                     (Image from MathWorld.) This means that $8$ ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Angle between lines joining tetrahedron center to vertices

What are the angles formed at the center of a tetrahedron if you draw lines to the vertices? I'm trying to make these: I need to know what angles to bend the metal.
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How to cut a cube into an icosahedron?

Edit: Originally I asked this about a using a cube, but it is not a requirement to start with a cube, just how to end up with an icosahedron as on of the answers showed how to make dodecahedron a ...
7
votes
2answers
843 views

Name of this convex polyhedron?

Does anyone recognize / know the name of the convex polyhedron depicted below as the intersection of a Cuboctahedron and a Rhombicdodecahedron? Please note you have to interpret this picture and ...
7
votes
2answers
129 views

Regular Polyhedrons

In $\mathbb{R}^3$, there are five regular polyhedrons (up to similarity), and can be parametrized by number of vertices, edges and faces. What is the number of regular polyhedrons in $\mathbb{R}^n$, ...
7
votes
3answers
199 views

Is it possible to inscribe a regular tetrahedron in every convex body?

Is it possible to inscribe at least one regular tetrahedron in every convex body?
7
votes
2answers
267 views

Definition of a polyhedral region

I believe the following two conditions on a subset $S$ of $\mathbb{R}^3$ may be equivalent. I would like to know if they are equivalent, and where I can find either a counterexample or a proof of ...
7
votes
1answer
154 views

Can I specify the edge lengths of a simplicial polyhedron?

Let $X$ be a convex polyhedron in $\mathbb{R}^3$ whose faces are all triangles, and let $\ell$ be a function which assigns a positive real number to each edge of $X$. We say that $\ell$ is realizable ...
7
votes
1answer
175 views

Showing that group of orientation preserving isometries of Icosahedron is a simple group

Let $G$ denote the group of orientation preserving isometries of Icosahedron. To prove the claim, I have shown that $\nexists \ N \ \triangleleft \ G$ such that $|N|=5.$ $\nexists \ N \ ...
6
votes
2answers
655 views

Why can't a perpetual motion polyhedron exist?

I've been thinking about polyhedrons, when placed on a table on a certain face, will tip over and keep tipping over infinitely. I'm trying to prove mathematically that such a polyhedron doesn't exist. ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

What is the minimal isoperimetric ratio of a polyhedron with $5$ vertices?

I'm asking and answering this question to provide a partial answer to this question and a comment on this answer at MO. The isoperimetric ratio $\mu$ of a solid is the ratio $A^3/V^2$, where $A$ is ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

Is there such a thing as the “edge-face dual” of a polyhedron, and is the “edge-face dual” of a cube a rhombic dodecahedron?

The dual of a polyhedron is a polyhedron where the vertices of one correspond to the faces of the other, and vice versa. Is there always a similar correspondence between a pair of polyhedra where the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Euler's formula for triangle mesh

Can anyone explain to me these two facts which I don't get from Euler's formula for triangle meshes? First, Euler's formula reads $V - E + F = 2(1-g)$ where $V$ is vertices number, $E$ edges number, ...
6
votes
1answer
543 views

How many $n$-colorings up to rotation using exactly 2 of each color are there on a $2n$-polyhedron?

I'm a high-school student and I stumbled across a YouTube video explaining how Rubik's cubes work. A Rubik's cube has 6 colors, one for each side, but I started thinking about ways to $n$-color the ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Is the adjective 'regular' necessary in the definition of Platonic solids?

The definition I mean can be found in the tag Wiki of Platonic solid tag and also in Wikipedia: Definition 1: A Platonic solid is a regular, convex polyhedron with congruent faces of ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

volume of polyhedra which correspond to icosahedral fullerenes

There is, I believe, a sequence of polyhedra whose shape approaches that of the icosahedron (they all have twelve pentagonal faces and the rest hexagons), and starts: regular dodecahedron (C$_{12}$, ...
6
votes
0answers
219 views

Is there a 4-dimensional picture making a geometrical proof of Heron's formula

Heron's formula states that if you have a triangle $T \subset \Bbb R^2$of sides $a,b,c$ then the hypervolume of a right-angled hyper-parallelepiped (is there a better word for this) of sides ...
5
votes
3answers
204 views

Can a tetrahedron lying completely inside another tetrahedron have a larger sum of edge lengths?

Find 2 tetrahedrons $ABCD$ and $EFGH$ such that $EFGH$ lies completely inside $ABCD$. The sum of edge lengths of $EFGH$ is strictly greater than the sum of edge lengths of $ABCD$. I am completely ...
5
votes
3answers
676 views

Platonic Solids

It´s a theorem that there exist only five platonic solids ( up to similarity). I was searching some proofs of this, but I could not. I want to see some proof of this, specially one that uses ...
5
votes
2answers
547 views

Which unfolding of an icosahedron has the least number of edges to be glued?

Does every unfolding of an icosahedron has the same number of edges to be glued to construct it back to the solid? If yes, what are those numbers for Platonic solids? If no, which unfoldings have the ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

Maximum number of vertices in intersection of triangle with box

Suppose we have a triangle and a box in 3D. The intersection of the triangle with the (solid) box will be a polygon with some number of vertices (possibly zero). The vertex count will vary according ...
5
votes
2answers
168 views

Why are polyhedra related to the prime numbers 2, 3 and 5, but not to the prime number 7?

Just take a quick glance at all the numbers in these Wikipedia pages on polyhedra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_solid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedean_solid ...