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Polyhedron

Types Of Polyhedrons

Polyhedrons are classified and named according to the number and type of faces. A polyhedron with four sides is a tetrahedron, but is also called a pyramid. The six-sided cube is also called a hexahedron. A polyhedron with six rectangles as sides also has many names—a rectangular parallelepided, rectangular prism, or box.

A polyhedron whose faces are all regular polygons congruent to each other, whose polyhedral angels are all equal, and which has the same number of faces meet at each vertex is called a regular polyhedron. Only five regular polyhedrons exist: the tetrahedron (four triangular faces), the cube (six square faces), the octahedron (eight triangular faces—think of two pyramids placed bottom to bottom), the dodecahedron (12 pentagonal faces), and the icosahedron (20 triangular faces).

Other common polyhedrons are best described as the same as one of previously named that has part of it cut off, or truncated, by a plane. Imagine cutting off the corners of a cube to obtain a polyhedron formed of triangles and squares, for example.

Kristin Lewotsky

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Planck mass to PositPolyhedron - Types of polyhedrons