Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I have had to get in rather deeper into geometry than is my usual for the past 30 or so years (since my dome building daze - I built 3 or 4 and even lived in Bucky's Dome in Carbondale - he was no longer a resident alas) because of my design work on the Bussard Fusion Reactor which is ongoing at the IEC Fusion Technology blog and on the IEC Fusion Newsgroup.

There is a plan for the design of the second demonstration reactor to change from a cubical arrangement of magnets to an arrangement that forms a dodecahedron. Which got me doing some research on the matter of edge lengths vs radius and other such questions in order to work out the geometry.

In doing my research I came across an extraordinary book on the platonic solids. It explains how the cube is related to the dodecahedron. Through the magic of computers this is the clearest explanation of the connection I have yet come across. In other words - pretty pictures.

Another thing that makes this interesting is that it is an e-book. I recently blogged about a friend of mine (Sgt. Mom) in Plan B From Outer Space who is going a similar route although in her case an actual book will be delivered. I wonder how the ISBN system will cope?

Book selling and buying is going to face an earthquake from this direction. Or to mix the metaphors, this train is just starting to get up some steam.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

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