Euler Characteristic of Platonic Solids Exploration

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Objective: Compute the Euler characteristic for Platonic solids.

In 1750, the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler noticed a remarkable formula involving the number of faces F, edges E, and vertices V of a polyhedron. It is now called the Euler characteristic, and is written with the Greek letter <math>\chi</math>:

The Euler characteristic is <math>\chi</math> = V - E + F

Let's compute this formula for the Platonic solids.

Tetrahedron

A tetrahedon is a simple shape that is made up of 4 triangles. Below you see a picture with labels on the vertices (V) and edges (E).

Tetrahedron-labeled.svg

Number of vertices = V = _______

Number of edges E = ______

Number of faces F = ______

Now find V - E + F =



Octahedron

A tetrahedon is a simple shape that is made up of 8 triangles. Below you see two pictures, the one on the left is given with labels on the vertices (V) and edges (E).

Octahedron-labeled.svg

Number of vertices = V = _______

Number of edges E = ______

Number of faces F = ______

Now find V - E + F =


Cube

A cube is a simple shape that is made up of 6 squares. Below you see a picture with labels on the vertices (V) and edges (E).

Cube-labeled.svg

Number of vertices = V = _______

Number of edges E = ______

Number of faces F = ______

Now find V - E + F =


Dodecahedron

A dodecahedron is made up of pentagons (5-gons). There are 12 pentagons in one dodecahedron.

Dodecahedron.png Dodecahedron-tombstone.jpg

Above you see a drawing of a dodecahedron and a tombstone in the form of a dodecahedron.

Number of vertices = V = _______

Number of edges E = ______

Number of faces F = ______

Now find V - E + F =


Icosahedron

An icosahedron is made up of triangles. There are 20 triangles in one icosahedron.

Chem star.png Icosaedro.jpg

Above you see a drawing of a icosahedron and a game piece (like dice) in the form of a icosahedron.

Number of vertices = V = _______

Number of edges E = ______

Number of faces F = ______

Now find V - E + F =

Pattern?

What kind of pattern do you notice?

Handin: A sheet with answers to all questions.