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 first-ever 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 first-ever 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 polyhedron-in-polyhedron in Kepler’s theory is reminiscent of the Nobel Prize-winning Quasi-crystal 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 polyhedron-in-polyhedron in Kepler’s theory is reminiscent of the Nobel Prize-winning Quasi-crystal 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 UNIST-gil, Bldg 108, 701-7 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 UNIST-gil, Bldg 108, 704-7 Ulsan 44919 Rep. of Korea

Phone
+82 52 217 2546

Copyrightⓒ2018 UNIST. All rights reserved.