On Icosahedra, and Pyritohedral Symmetry

Icosa pyrito & two tets

In this icosahedron, the four blue faces are positioned in such a way as to demonstrate tetrahedral symmetry. The same is true of the four red faces. The remaining twelve faces demonstrate pyritohedral symmetry, which is much less well-known. It was these twelve faces that I once distorted to form what I named the “golden icosahedron” (right here: https://robertlovespi.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/the-golden-icosahedron/), but, at that point, I had not yet learned the term for this unusual symmetry-type.

To most people, the most familiar object with pyritohedral symmetry is a volleyball. Here is a diagram of a volleyball’s seams, found on Wikipedia.


Besides the golden icosahedron I found, back in 2013, there is another, better-known, alteration of the icosahedron which has pyritohedral symmetry, and it is called Jessen’s icosahedron. Here’s what it looks like, in this image, which I found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessen%27s_icosahedron.


The rotating icosahedron at the top of this post was made using Stella 4d, a program which may be purchased, or tried for free (as a trial version) at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.

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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