In three-dimensional space, there are five Platonic and thirteen Archimedean polyhedra, plus numerous other shapes, in several categories. The whole collection can appear to be quite a confusing jumble — until, and unless, you start surveying four-dimensional polytopes, known as polychora.

There are six regular polychora, and they are analogous to the five Platonic solids. Each three-dimensional cell is regular, and all are identical, within a single one of these six. When peering beyond these six, however, things can get very confusing, very quickly.

The software I used to generate this image, Stella 4d, has a built-in library of polyhedra and polychora. You can examine it as a free trial download at http://www.software3d.com/stella.php. Today, motivated by curiosity, I went surveying, using this program, into the more complex polychora — beyond the six regular ones — which have different polyhedra as cells, looking for one I could (try to) understand, and which appealed to me aesthetically.

The one I settled on for this post is known as 165-Srix, as well as the small rhombated 600-cell, a/k/a the cantellated 600-cell. It has 600 cells which are cuboctahedra, shown here in yellow, 120 more which are icosidodecahedra, shown here in blue, and 720 cells which are regular pentagonal prisms.

I must admit this: I’m more than a little jealous of those who seem to be able to easily understand these four-dimensional shapes. I am definitely not one of them.

About RobertLovesPi

I go by RobertLovesPi on-line, and am interested in many things, a large portion of which are geometrical. Welcome to my little slice of the Internet. The viewpoints and opinions expressed on this website are my own. They should not be confused with the views of my employer, nor any other organization, nor institution, of any kind.
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