Monday, 2003 August 11, 22:51 — humanities, sciences

naming the polytopes

The Pythagoreans, legend has it, saw each of the regular solids as a symbol of one of the elements: tetrahedron fire, octahedron air, icosahedron water, cube earth — leaving the dodecahedron to stand for the universe, or quintessence, or spirit. It’s rather a pity that they weren’t so named, pyromorph, aeromorph, hydromorph, geomorph, cosmomorph; the nomenclature of the other uniform polytopes (particularly those of four dimensions) would be somewhat cleaner.

2004 Oct 04: It is a charming coincidence that the cosmos was briefly suspected of being cosmomorphic.

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