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Golden polyhedron
Posted:
May 23, 2006 8:45 AM


Greetings,
On the NY Times web site, there is a story and picture about a hollow molecule composed of 16 atoms of gold. It looks like the figure is an irregular polyhedron where some vertices have six triangles meeting and others have four. The article is "16 Golden Atoms in Search of a Catchy Name" By KENNETH CHANG; Published: May 23, 2006; at URL http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/23/science/23find.html.
A related web site is named, called "Evidence of Hollow Golden Cages", URL http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/23/science/23find.html, Published online before print May 19, 2006. It calls the molecules '("bucky gold")', a name that I suggest could catch on. However, the name of NY Times article suggests that "someone" is still looking for a catchy name.
I am thinking of the geometric aspects of the molecule. It has 16 gold atoms: 16 vertices. Since I have trouble visualizing a 3D figure from a 2D drawing, I have questions: How many faces does it have? Are they all equilateral triangles? How many meet at each vertex? (If four and six, how many vertices have four and how many have six triangles?) I presume that Euler's Formula: V + F = 2 + E applies. Does it? How many edges does it have? Are there other similar questions to be asked?  Dan in NY (for email change t with g in dKlinkenbert at hvc dot rr dot com)



