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Characterizing the Vertex Neighbourhoods of Semi-Regular Polyhedra, by T. R. S. Walsh

# Characterizing the Vertex Neighbourhoods of Semi-Regular Polyhedra, by T. R. S. Walsh

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A paper explaining how to find all the Archimedean solids.
A paper explaining how to find all the Archimedean solids.

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06/09/2010

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T. R. S. WALSH*
CHARACTERIZING THE VERTEX NEIGHBOURHOODSOF SEMI-REGULAR POLYHEDRA
I. INTRODUCTION
A polyhedron [4, p. 4] or a plane tessellation [4, p. 58] is called
semi-regular
if its faces are regular polygons (thus all its edges are equal) and itsvertices are all surrounded alike. This implies that the cyclic sequence
S= (Pl,P2, ...,P~)
representing the degrees of the faces surrounding avertex must be the same for each vertex to within rotation and reflection.In this paper, we show that
the cyclic sequence S=(pl, P2,...,Pq) rep-resents the degrees of the faces surrounding each vertex of a semi-regularconvex polyhedron or tessellation of the plane if and only if:
(1) q>~ 3,
and every member of S is at least 3;
q
(2) . >/~ - 1,
with equality in the case of a plane tessellation,"
i=l
(3)
and for every odd number p in S, S contains a segment b, p, b.
Condition (1) is necessary because if q~<2, the figure consists of a singlepolygon; while any polygon with straight sides must have at least 3 of them.Condition (2) is necessary because the sum of the interior angles at avertex must be equal to one rotation if the figure is to lie in a plane, andmust be less than one rotation if the figure is to be strictly convex (convexwith no two adjacent faces lying in the same plane).The usual way in which all the semi-regular convex polyhedra and planetessellations are found is to eliminate solutions of (1) and (2) using separatearguments for each of several sets of solutions [6, pp. 116-26; 2, pp. 25-32;3, p. 394; 7, pp. 202-3], and then to prove that the solutions not eliminatedrepresent semi-regular tessellations of the plane or sphere.In [5], there appear: a short proof of the existence of these figures[pp. 405-8], a table [p. 434] and pictures [p. 439] of all but one of thesemi-regular convex polyhedra (the remaining one appears in [1, p. 137])as well as the known non-convex ones, and a table [p. 438] of all the semi-
* The author wishes to thank Prof. H. S. M. Coxeter for his numerous helpful suggestionsduring the preparation of this paper, and M. Burt for his assistance in preparing theplates.
Geometriae Dedicata
1 (1972) 117-123.
1972
by D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland

118
T.R.S. WALSH
regular plane tessellations. Pictures of all but two of the plane tessellationsappear in [7, pp. 199 and 204-7, figures 75, 84, 85, 86, 88, 89, 94].In this paper, we introduce the concept of a
semi-regular map.
We deducethe necessity of conditions (2) and (3) by showing that they hold for allsemi-regular maps on plane-like or sphere-like surfaces provided thatevery face is of degree at least 3. We then find all solutions of (1), (2), (3)and identify each with a known semi-regular convex polyhedron or planetessellation. The properties established in the course of this proof may beuseful for enumerating semi-regular maps on other types of surfaces.
II. SEMI-REGULAR MAPS
A map
[cf. 4, p. 6] is a partition of a connected, unbounded two-dimensionalsurface into simply-connected polygonal regions (faces) by means of pair-wise disjoint simple curves (edges) joining pairs of points (vertices). Everypolyhedron is a map, while a map whose faces are plane polygons is apolyhedron if the number of edges is finite, and a degenerate polyhedron(like, for example, a plane tessellation) otherwise.A map is called
semi-regular
if the cyclic order of the degrees of the facessurrounding each vertex is the same to within rotation and reflection. Thiscyclic order determines a cyclic sequence S = (Pl, P2 ..... p~), which we callthe
cycle
of the map.Every vertex is incident with mp p-gons, where mp is the multiplicity ofp in S. Everyp-gun is incident with p vertices. So if v (the number of vertices)is finite and fp is the number ofp-gons,(4) fp = (~) v.Every vertex is incident with q edges (where q is the length of S) andevery edge is incident with 2 vertices. So if e is the number of edges,(5) e =(2)v.Iff is the total number of faces,(6)
f-- f =v× .
peS i=1
A convex body is sphere-like, and its surface is, like the plane, simply-

SEMI-REGULAR POLYHEDRA 119
connected. Hence we may restrict our attention to maps on a simply-connected surface (an orientable surface of genus 0) and use Euler's formula[4, p. 9] to find v:
q
(
7)
f-e+v=v
1-2+ =2.
i=lq
2
8) Letting D = --,Pi
i=l
we have either D > 0 and
2 q 2(mp/p)
(9) v = ~, e = ~, fP = Das in the case of the convex polyhedra, or else D=0 and o,
e, fp
are allinfinite, as in the case of the plane tessellations.This proves the necessity of condition (2).
III. RESTRICTIONS ON THE CYCLE OF A SEMI-REGULAR MAP
Given any semi-regular map (not necessarily one which obeys Euler'sformula) with cycle
S,
consider any face (of degreep, say), and let b 1 ... , bp bethe degrees of the faces which share consecutive edges with the p-gon.The b~-gon, the p-gon, and the b~+x-gon are consecutive faces surroundingtheir common vertex (see Figure 1);
\ p /0,
Fig. 1.
so S contains a segment
bi, p, bi+ 1.
This is true for 1
<~i<~p (bp+1
means,of course, bl ), and for every p in S. So we have

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