Platonic solids are regular geometric
solids with regular plane faces. There are only five platonic solids.
These are the
cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedrons, and dodecahedron. The
number of vertices, edges, and faces for these polyhedrons are as follows:
Polyhedron |
Vertices |
Edges |
Faces |
tetrahedron |
4 |
6 |
4 |
cube |
8 |
12 |
6 |
octahedron |
6 |
12 |
8 |
dodecahedron |
20 |
30 |
12 |
icosahedron |
12 |
30 |
20 |
The ancient Greeks has known these five regular solids, each of
which have faces that are all identical equal-angled regular polygons the meet
at equal angles. The
cube has six faces, each of which is a square.
The tetrahedron has four equilateral triangular faces. The
octahedron has eight equilateral triangular faces. The icosahedron
has twenty equilateral triangular faces. Lastly, the dodecahedron has
twelve equilateral pentagonal faces.
Plato have related these regular solids to the basic
elements of nature. As the lightest and sharpest elements, Plato assigned
tetrahedron to represent fire. The icosahedron was assigned to represent
water because of its being fluid and most mobile. Earth, being the most
stable, was assigned to be represented by a cube. Air, which was light and
fluid, was assedgned to be represented by an octahedron. Finally, Plato
assigned dodecahedron, which have the most vertices and edges, and the only one
with pentagonal faces, to represent the whole universe.
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