A Polyhedral Demonstration of the Fact That Twenty Times Four Is Eighty

20 times 4 is 80

The Platonic solid known as the icosahedron has twenty triangular faces. This polyhedron resembles the icosahedron, but with each of the icosahedron’s triangles replaced by a panel of four faces:  three isosceles trapezoids surrounding a central triangle. Since (20)(4) = 80, it is possible to know that this polyhedron has eighty faces — without actually counting them.

To let you see the interior structure of this figure, I next rendered its triangular faces invisible, to form “windows,” and then, just for fun, put the remaining figure in “rainbow color mode.”

20 times 4 is 80 version twoI perform these manipulations of polyhedra using software called Stella 4d. If you’d like to try this program for yourself, the website to visit for a free trial download is http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.

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