Because the snub dodecahedron is chiral, the polyhedral cluster, above, is also chiral, as only one enantiomer of the snub dodecahedron was used when augmenting the single icosahedron, which is hidden at the center of the cluster.
As is the case with all chiral polyhedra, this cluster can be used to make a compound of itself, and its own enantiomer (or “mirror-image”):
The image above uses the same coloring-scheme as the first image shown in this post. If, however, the two enantiomorphic components are each given a different overall color, this second cluster looks quite different:
All three of these virtual models were created using Stella 4d, software available at this website.
This polyhedron is chiral, meaning that (unlike many well-known polyhedra) it exists in “left-handed” and “right-handed” forms — reflections of each other. These “reflections” are also called enantiomers. I call this polyhedron “sixty and sixty” because there are sixty faces which are irregular, purple quadrilaterals, as well as sixty faces which are irregular, orange pentagons.
I stumbled upon this polyhedron while playing around with Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, software you can try right here. For those who research polyhedra, I know of no better tool.
To see the other enantiomer, there is a simple way — just hold a mirror in front of your computer screen, with it showing the image above, and look in the mirror!
With any chiral polyhedron, it is possible to make a compound out of the two enantiomers. Here is what the compound looks like, for this “sixty and sixty” polyhedron cannot be seen this way, so here is an image of it, also created using Stella 4d.
Two polyhedra are shown in this post — one which is chiral, and a similar one which is not. The non-chiral polyhedron in this pair is above. Its mirror-image is not any different from itself, except if you consider the direction of rotation.
The similar polyhedron below, however, features an overall “twist,” causing it to qualify as a chiral polyhedron. In its mirror-image (not shown, unless you use a mirror to make it visible), the “twisting” goes in the opposite direction. The direction of rotation would be reversed as well, of course, in a reflected image.
Multiple terms exist for mirror-image pairs of chiral polyhedra, the most well-known of which are the snub cube ansd snub dodecahedron, two of the thirteen Archimedean Solids. Some prefer to call them “enantiomers,” but many others prefer the more familiar term “reflections,” which I often use. I’ve also seen such polyhedra referred to as “left-handed” and “right-handed” forms, but I avoid these anthropomorphic terms related to handedness, simply because, if there is an established rule which would let me know whether any given chiral polyhedron is left- or right-handed, I’m not familiar with it. (Also, polyhedra do not have hands.) I could not, therefore, tell you if the example shown above would be correctly described as left- or right-handed — either because no such rule exists, or there is such a rule, but it is unknown to me. If the latter, I would appreciate it if someone would provide the details in a comment.
Both images above were created with Stella 4d, software you can try, for free, right here.
To make this, I started with the dual of the great rhombicosidodecahedron, a polyhedron known as the dysdyakis triacontahedron. I then augmented half of its faces with tall prisms (thereby creating the chirality in this polyhedron), and took the convex hull of the result. The sixty red triangles are the tops of the augmentation-prisms.
A stellation of the above polyhedron, and a color-change, produced this result, also chiral. It may be enlarged with a click.
If someone had asked me if it were possible to form a symmetric polyhedra out of irregular triangles and octagons, using exactly sixty of one type each, I would have guessed that it were not possible. Why does it work here? Part of the reason is that each triangle borders three octagons, and each octagon borders three triangles — a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. This is a partial truncation of an isomorph of the pentagonal hexacontahedron, the dual of the snub dodecahedron. As such, no surprise — it’s chiral.
This was made while stumbling about in the wilderness of the infinite number of possible polyhedra using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. You can get it here: http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
In this chiral tessellation, the blue triangles and green hexagons are regular. The yellow hexagons are “Golden Hexagons,” which are what you get if you reflect a regular pentagon over one of its own diagonals, then unify the two reflections. The pink and purple quadrilaterals are two types of rhombi, and the red hexagons are a third type of equilateral hexagon. All of the edges of all polygons here have the same length.
There are three different types of points of three-fold rotational symmetry repeated here. Two of these types are centered in the middle of blue triangles, while the third is centered in the middle of some of the green hexagons — specifically, the ones surrounded only by alternating red and yellow hexagons.
When I try to generate the mirror-image of this tessellation, it overloads Geometer’s Sketchpad, and crashes the program. However, inverting the colors of the same reflection, in MS-Paint, to make a color-variant, is easy:
To make this, I attached tall pyramids (by their vertices) to the centers of the triangular faces of a snub dodecahedron. These pyramids have bases which are regular polygons with sixty sides each. After that modification of a snub dodecahedron, I took the convex hull of the result.
Just like the snub dodecahedron upon which this is based, this polyhedron is chiral. For any chiral polyhedron, Stella 4d (the software I use to make most of the images on this blog) will allow you to quickly make a compound of the polyhedron and its mirror image. When I did that, I obtained this result.
As the dual of the snub dodecahedron, which is chiral, this member of the Catalan Solids is also chiral — in other words, it exists in left- and right-handed versions, known an entantiomers. They are mirror-images of each other, like left and right gloves or shoes. Here’s the other one, by comparison:
It is always possible to make a compound, for a chiral polyhedron, from its two enantiomers. Here’s the one made from the two mirror-image pentagonal hexacontahedra shown above:
Stellating this enantiomorphic-pair-compound twenty-one times produces this interesting result:
And, returning to the unstellated enantiamorphic-pair-compound, here is its convex hull:
This convex hull strikes me as an interesting polyhedron in its own right, so I tried stellating it several times, just to see what would happen. Here’s one result, after seventeen stellations:
Software credit: I made these rotating images using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. That program may be bought at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php, and has a free “try it before you buy it” trial download available at that site, as well. I also used Geometer’s Sketchpad and MS-Paint to produce the flat purple-and-black image found on faces near the top of this post (and, by itself, in the previous post on this blog), but I know of nowhere to get free trial downloads of these latter two programs.