Johnson Solid - Names

Names

The names are listed below and are more descriptive than they sound. Most of the Johnson solids can be constructed from the first few (pyramids, cupolae, and rotunda), together with the Platonic and Archimedean solids, prisms, and antiprisms.

  • Bi- means that two copies of the solid in question are joined base-to-base. For cupolae and rotundae, they can be joined so that like faces (ortho-) or unlike faces (gyro-) meet. In this nomenclature, an octahedron would be a square bipyramid, a cuboctahedron would be a triangular gyrobicupola, and an icosidodecahedron would be a pentagonal gyrobirotunda.
  • Elongated means that a prism has been joined to the base of the solid in question or between the bases of the solids in question. A rhombicuboctahedron would be an elongated square orthobicupola.
  • Gyroelongated means that an antiprism has been joined to the base of the solid in question or between the bases of the solids in question. An icosahedron would be a gyroelongated pentagonal bipyramid.
  • Augmented means that a pyramid or cupola has been joined to a face of the solid in question.
  • Diminished means that a pyramid or cupola has been removed from the solid in question.
  • Gyrate means that a cupola on the solid in question has been rotated so that different edges match up, as in the difference between ortho- and gyrobicupolae.

The last three operations — augmentation, diminution, and gyration — can be performed more than once on a large enough solid. We add bi- to the name of the operation to indicate that it has been performed twice. (A bigyrate solid has had two of its cupolae rotated.) We add tri- to indicate that it has been performed three times. (A tridiminished solid has had three of its pyramids or cupolae removed.)

Sometimes, bi- alone is not specific enough. We must distinguish between a solid that has had two parallel faces altered and one that has had two oblique faces altered. When the faces altered are parallel, we add para- to the name of the operation. (A parabiaugmented solid has had two parallel faces augmented.) When they are not, we add meta- to the name of the operation. (A metabiaugmented solid has had 2 oblique faces augmented.)

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