Polyhedra in Humanities
Let’s learn about the philosophers and scientists
who used polyhedra to describe the invisible abstract world.
Plato, a Philosopher who Envisioned the Universe
Polyhedra in Humanities
Let’s learn about the philosophers and scientists who used polyhedra to describe the invisible abstract world.
Plato, a Philosopher who Envisioned the Universe
Plato is an ancient Greek philosopher, a disciple of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. He was influenced by Socrates and Pythagoras. In 387 BC, he founded a philosophy school called Academia, the firstever university in the world. It lasted for over 900 years until 529 AD.
It was written at the entrance of Academia that “Let no one ignorant of geometry enter. (Don’t come in if you don’t know geometry.)” This quote shows how much Plato valued geometry.
Platonic Solid
Plato, a Philosopher who Envisioned the Universe
Plato is an ancient Greek philosopher, a disciple of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. He was influenced by Socrates and Pythagoras. In 387 BC, he founded a philosophy school called Academia, the firstever university in the world. It lasted for over 900 years until 529 AD.
It was written at the entrance of Academia that “Let no one ignorant of geometry enter. (Don’t come in if you don’t know geometry.)” This quote shows how much Plato valued geometry.
Platonic Solid
In his book Timaeus, Plato described the mathematical structure of the four elements (water, fire, earth, and air) and the aether that make up the universe, using Platonic polyhedra. He compared water to a dodecahedron, fire to a tetrahedron, soil to a cube, air to an octahedron, and aether to a dodecahedron.
Water (Icosahedron) Flow of water
Fire (tetrahedron) – Burning of fire
Earth (cube) – Sense of stability
Air (octahedron) Free moving and circulation
Aether (dodecahedron) A bowl containing the four elements: water, fire, earth, and air
Science and Religion during the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Platonic Solid
In his book Timaeus, Plato described the mathematical structure of the four elements (water, fire, earth, and air) and the aether that make up the universe, using Platonic polyhedra. He compared water to a dodecahedron, fire to a tetrahedron, soil to a cube, air to an octahedron, and aether to a dodecahedron.
Water (Icosahedron) Flow of water 

Fire (tetrahedron) Burning of fire 

Earth (cube) Sense of stability 

Air (octahedron) Free moving and circulation 

Aether (dodecahedron) A bowl containing the four elements: water, fire, earth, and air 
Science and Religion during the Middle Ages and Renaissance
The Middle Ages and Renaissance feature a mixture of astrology and astronomy, alchemy and chemistry, and the Christian view was dominant. Let’s find out how the ancient view of Plato’s polyhedron combined with the medieval and Renaissance Christian religions.
Kepler’s Cosmographic Mystery and the Astrophysics in the Renaissance
Science and Religion during the Middle Ages and Renaissance
The Middle Ages and Renaissance feature a mixture of astrology and astronomy, alchemy and chemistry, and the Christian view was dominant. Let’s find out how the ancient view of Plato’s polyhedron combined with the medieval and Renaissance Christian religions.
Kepler’s Cosmographic Mystery
and the Astrophysics
in the Renaissance
Johannes Kepler were deeply influenced by Platonic polyhedra to explain the planetary orbits. Kepler brought Plato’s theory of polyhedra to explain the orbits of six planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), corresponding to an octahedron, an icosahedron, a dodecahedron, a tetrahedron, and a cube, respectively.
Kepler’s Cosmographic Mystery
and the Astrophysics
in the Renaissance
Johannes Kepler were deeply influenced by Platonic polyhedra to explain the planetary orbits. Kepler brought Plato’s theory of polyhedra to explain the orbits of six planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), corresponding to an octahedron, an icosahedron, a dodecahedron, a tetrahedron, and a cube, respectively.
Kepler, the Great Astrophysicist
Kepler, the Great Astrophysicist
Kepler later admitted that his description of the planetary orbits using polyhedra was incorrect. However, Kepler’s observations are still meaningful, and the polyhedroninpolyhedron in Kepler’s theory is reminiscent of the Nobel Prizewinning Quasicrystal structures. Even the theory of scientific imagination and the incomplete hypothesis can lead to meaningful outcomes.
The Cosmographic Mystery
Kepler,
the Great Astrophysicist
Kepler later admitted that his description of the planetary orbits using polyhedra was incorrect. However, Kepler’s observations are still meaningful, and the polyhedroninpolyhedron in Kepler’s theory is reminiscent of the Nobel Prizewinning Quasicrystal structures. Even the theory of scientific imagination and the incomplete hypothesis can lead to meaningful outcomes.
The Cosmographic Mystery
Kepler said in the book “Harmony of the World,” each of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter,
and Saturn has its own melody, and the melodies form a harmony.
Select a planet from the interactive table and match the five regular polyhedra while watching the dots appear on the screen.
Isn’t it cool to hear the music of space orbit played with polyhedra?
The Cosmographic Mystery
Kepler said in the book “Harmony of the World,” each of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn has its own melody, and the melodies form a harmony. Select a planet from the interactive table and match the five regular polyhedra while watching the dots appear on the screen. Isn’t it cool to hear the music of space orbit played with polyhedra?
How did you like our exhibition?
Please let us know your questions and suggestions.
Address 50 UNISTgil, Bldg 108, 7017 Ulsan 44919 Rep. of Korea
Phone +82 52 217 2546
Copyrightⓒ2018 UNIST. All rights reserved.
How did you like our exhibition?
Please let us know your questions and suggestions.
Address
50 UNISTgil, Bldg 108, 7047 Ulsan 44919 Rep. of Korea
Phone
+82 52 217 2546
Copyrightⓒ2018 UNIST. All rights reserved.