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Sólidos Platónicos
Ingeometry, a
Platonic solid
is aconvex regular polyhedron. These are the three- dimensional analogs of the convexregular polygons. There are precisely five such figures(shown below). They are unique in that the faces, edges and angles are allcongruent.
The Five Convex Regular Polyhedra (Platonic solids)
The name of each figure is derived from the number of its faces: respectively 4, 6, 8, 12,and 20.
Theaesthetic beautyandsymmetryof the Platonic solids have made them a favorite subject of geometersfor thousands of years. They are named for the ancient Greek philosopher  Platowho theorized theclassical elementswere constructed from the regular solids.
Kepler's Platonic solid model of the solar system from
(1596)The Platonic solids have been known since antiquity. Ornamented models of them can befound among the carved stone balls created by the lateneolithicpeople of Scotlandat least 1000 years before Plato (Atiyah and Sutcliffe 2003).Theancient Greeksstudied the Platonic solids extensively. Some sources (such asProclus
)credit Pythagoraswith their discovery. Other evidence suggests he may have only been familiar with the tetrahedron, cube, and dodecahedron, and that the discovery of theoctahedron and icosahedron belong toTheaetetus, a contemporary of Plato. In any case,Theaetetus gave a mathematical description of all five and may have been responsible for the first known proof that there are no other convex regular polyhedra.The Platonic solids feature prominently in the philosophy of Platofor whom they arenamed. Plato wrote about them in the dialogue
.360 B.C. in which he associatedeach of the four classical elements(earth,air ,water ,andfire) with a regular solid. Earth was associated with the cube, air with the octahedron, water with the icosahedron, and firewith the tetrahedron. There was intuitive justification for these associations: the heat of fire
feels sharp and stabbing (like little tetrahedra). Air is made of the octahedron; its minusculecomponents are so smooth that one can barely feel it. Water, the icosahedron, flows out of one's hand when picked up, as if it is made of tiny little balls. By contrast, a highly un-spherical solid, the hexahedron (cube) represents earth. These clumsy little solids cause dirtto crumble and break when picked up, in stark difference to the smooth flow of water. Thefifth Platonic solid, the dodecahedron, Plato obscurely remarks, "...the god used for arranging the constellations on the whole heaven". Aristotleadded a fifth element,aithêr   (aether in Latin, "ether" in English) and postulated that the heavens were made of thiselement, but he had no interest in matching it with Plato's fifth solid.Euclidgave a complete mathematical description of the Platonic solids in the
; thelast book (Book XIII) of which is devoted to their properties. Propositions 13–17 in Book XIII describe the construction of the tetrahedron, octahedron, cube, icosahedron, anddodecahedron in that order. For each solid Euclid finds the ratio of the diameter of thecircumscribed sphere to the edge length. In Proposition 18 he argues that there are nofurther convex regular polyhedra. Much of the information in Book XIII is probablyderived from the work of Theaetetus.In the16th century, theGerman astronomer  Johannes Kepler attempted to find a relation  between the five known planetsat that time (excluding the Earth) and the five Platonicsolids. In
, published in1596, Kepler laid out a model of thesolar systemin which the five solids were set inside one another and separated by a seriesof inscribed and circumscribed spheres. The six spheres each corresponded to one of the planets (Mercury, Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter ,andSaturn
). The solids were ordered withthe innermost being the octahedron, followed by the icosahedron, dodecahedron,tetrahedron, and finally the cube. In this way the structure of the solar system and thedistance relationships between the planets was dictated by the Platonic solids. In the end,Kepler's original idea had to be abandoned, but out of his research came the discovery of theKepler solids, the realization that the orbits of planets are not circles, andKepler's laws of planetary motionfor which he is now famous.
Combinatorial properties
A convex polyhedron is a Platonic solid if and only if 1.all its faces arecongruentconvexregular polygons, 2.none of its faces intersect except at their edges, and3.the same number of faces meet at each of itsvertices.Each Platonic solid can therefore be denoted by a symbol {
} where
= the number of sides of each face (or the number of vertices of each face) and
= the number of faces meeting at each vertex (or the number of edges meeting ateach vertex).

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