A polyhedron is a 3D-shape that has flat faces, straight edges, and sharp vertices (corners). The word "polyhedron" is derived from a Greek word, where "poly" means "many" and hedron means "surface".Thus, when many flat surfaces are joined together they form a polyhedron.
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A polyhedron is a three-dimensional solid made up of polygons. It has flat faces, straight edges, and vertices. For example, a cube, prism, or pyramid are polyhedrons. Cones, spheres, and cylinders are non-polyhedrons because their sides are not polygons and they have curved surfaces. The plural of a polyhedron is also known as polyhedra. They are classified as prisms, pyramids, and platonic solids. For example, triangular prism, square prism, rectangular pyramid, square pyramid, and cube (platonic solid) are polyhedrons.Observe the following figure which shows the different kinds of polyhedrons.
Counting Faces, Vertices, and Edges
The dimensions of a polyhedron are classified as faces, edges, and vertices.Face: The flat surface of a polyhedron is termed as its face.Edge: The two faces meet at a line called the edge.Vertices: The point of intersection of two edges is a vertex.
Observe the following figure which shows the face, vertex, and edges of a shape.
There is a relationship between the number of faces, edges, and vertices in a polyhedron. We can represent this relationship as a math formula known as the Euler"s Formula.Euler"s Formula ⇒ F + V - E = 2, where, F = number of faces, V = number of vertices, and E = number of edgesBy using the Euler"s Formula we can easily find the missing part of a polyhedron. We can also verify if a polyhedron with the given number of parts exists or not. For example, a cube has 6 faces, 8 vertices (corner points) and 12 edges. Let us check whether a cube is a polyhedron or not by using the Euler"s formula. F = 6, V = 8, E = 12 Euler"s Formula ⇒ F + V - E = 2 where, F = number of faces; V = number of vertices; E = number of edgesSubstituting the values in the formula: 6 + 8 - 12 = 2 ⇒ 2 = 2. Hence proved, cube is a polyhedron.
Types of Polyhedron
Polyhedra are mainly divided into two types – regular polyhedron and irregular polyhedron.Regular PolyhedronA regular polyhedron is also called a platonic solid whose faces are regular polygons and are congruent to each other. In a regular polyhedron, all the polyhedral angles are equal. There are five regular polyhedrons. The following is the list of five regular polyhedrons.Tetrahedron: A tetrahedron has 4 faces, 6 edges, and 4 vertices (corners); and the shape of each face is an equilateral triangle.Cube: A cube has 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices; and the shape of each face is a square.Regular Octahedron: A regular octahedron has 8 faces, 12 edges, and 6 vertices; and the shape of each face is an equilateral triangle.Regular Icosahedron: A Regular icosahedron has 20 faces, 30 edges, and 12 vertices; and the shape of each face is an equilateral triangle.
Observe the following figure which shows the various types of regular polyhedrons.
Irregular PolyhedronA polyhedron with irregular polygonal faces that are not congruent to each other, and in which the polyhedral angles are not equal is called an irregular polyhedron.
Convex PolyhedronA convex polyhedron is just like a convex polygon. If a line segment joining any two points on the surface of a polyhedron entirely lies inside the polyhedron, it is called a convex polyhedron.
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Concave PolyhedronA concave polyhedron is quite similar to a concave polygon. If a line segment joining any two points on the surface of a polyhedron goes outside the polyhedron, it is called a concave polyhedron.
Related Articles on Polyhedron
Check out the following articles related to the Polyhedron.