Set of regular n-gonal hosohedra
Example regular hexagonal hosohedron on a sphere
Typeregular polyhedron or spherical tiling
Facesn digons
Euler char.2
Vertex configuration2n
Wythoff symboln | 2 2
Schläfli symbol{2,n}
Coxeter diagram
Symmetry groupDnh

order 4n
Rotation groupDn

order 2n
Dual polyhedronregular n-gonal dihedron
This beach ball would be a hosohedron with 6 spherical lune faces, if the 2 white caps on the ends were removed and the lunes extended to meet at the poles.

In spherical geometry, an n-gonal hosohedron is a tessellation of lunes on a spherical surface, such that each lune shares the same two polar opposite vertices.

A regular n-gonal hosohedron has Schläfli symbol {2,n}, with each spherical lune having internal angle 2π/nradians (360/n degrees).[1][2]

Hosohedra as regular polyhedra

Further information: List of regular polytopes and compounds § Spherical 2

For a regular polyhedron whose Schläfli symbol is {mn}, the number of polygonal faces is :

The Platonic solids known to antiquity are the only integer solutions for m ≥ 3 and n ≥ 3. The restriction m ≥ 3 enforces that the polygonal faces must have at least three sides.

When considering polyhedra as a spherical tiling, this restriction may be relaxed, since digons (2-gons) can be represented as spherical lunes, having non-zero area.

Allowing m = 2 makes

and admits a new infinite class of regular polyhedra, which are the hosohedra. On a spherical surface, the polyhedron {2, n} is represented as n abutting lunes, with interior angles of 2π/n. All these spherical lunes share two common vertices.

A regular trigonal hosohedron, {2,3}, represented as a tessellation of 3 spherical lunes on a sphere.

A regular tetragonal hosohedron, {2,4}, represented as a tessellation of 4 spherical lunes on a sphere.
Family of regular hosohedra · *n22 symmetry mutations of regular hosohedral tilings: nn
Space Spherical Euclidean
... Apeirogonal
{2,1} {2,2} {2,3} {2,4} {2,5} ... {2,∞}
Faces and
1 2 3 4 5 ...
Vertices 2 2 2 2 2 ... 2
2 2.2 23 24 25 ... 2

Kaleidoscopic symmetry

The digonal spherical lune faces of a -hosohedron, , represent the fundamental domains of dihedral symmetry in three dimensions: the cyclic symmetry , , , order . The reflection domains can be shown by alternately colored lunes as mirror images.

Bisecting each lune into two spherical triangles creates an -gonal bipyramid, which represents the dihedral symmetry , order .

Different representations of the kaleidoscopic symmetry of certain small hosohedra
Symmetry (order ) Schönflies notation
Orbifold notation
Coxeter diagram
-gonal hosohedron Schläfli symbol
Alternately colored fundamental domains

Relationship with the Steinmetz solid

The tetragonal hosohedron is topologically equivalent to the bicylinder Steinmetz solid, the intersection of two cylinders at right-angles.[3]

Derivative polyhedra

The dual of the n-gonal hosohedron {2, n} is the n-gonal dihedron, {n, 2}. The polyhedron {2,2} is self-dual, and is both a hosohedron and a dihedron.

A hosohedron may be modified in the same manner as the other polyhedra to produce a truncated variation. The truncated n-gonal hosohedron is the n-gonal prism.

Apeirogonal hosohedron

In the limit, the hosohedron becomes an apeirogonal hosohedron as a 2-dimensional tessellation:


Further information: List of regular polytopes and compounds § Spherical 3

Multidimensional analogues in general are called hosotopes. A regular hosotope with Schläfli symbol {2,p,...,q} has two vertices, each with a vertex figure {p,...,q}.

The two-dimensional hosotope, {2}, is a digon.


The term “hosohedron” appears to derive from the Greek ὅσος (hosos) “as many”, the idea being that a hosohedron can have “as many faces as desired”.[4] It was introduced by Vito Caravelli in the eighteenth century.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Coxeter, Regular polytopes, p. 12
  2. ^ Abstract Regular polytopes, p. 161
  3. ^ Weisstein, Eric W. "Steinmetz Solid". MathWorld.
  4. ^ Steven Schwartzman (1 January 1994). The Words of Mathematics: An Etymological Dictionary of Mathematical Terms Used in English. MAA. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-88385-511-9.
  5. ^ Coxeter, H.S.M. (1974). Regular Complex Polytopes. London: Cambridge University Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-521-20125-X. The hosohedron {2,p} (in a slightly distorted form) was named by Vito Caravelli (1724–1800) …