What is a Pyramid?


Square base and four sides that come to a point. Simple enough.

What is a Pyramid? What is a Pyramid?

The image (above, right) is in Mexico. Although it does not come to a full point, it is considered a pyramid. A pyramid must have a square (all sides being equal) at its base, with lines drawn from four corners upward to meet at what is (or would be) a point (the apex). I have often heard people refer to Tetrahedrons as pyramids. In fact, the popular "pyramid" shaped tea bag is in fact a tetrahedron.

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Platonic Solids

The Platonic Solids

The five platonic solids


The tetrahedron is the first in a series of five shapes referred to as the platonic solids (after Plato). They are (in order) Tetrahedron, Cube (Hexahedron), Octahedron, Dodecahedron, and Icosahedron. The tetrahedron is a form made of four connected equilateral triangles. The five platonic solids are distinct in that all of their sides are the same shape.

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The Pyramid

Once again, the pyramid, in contrast to the tetrahedron, combines a single square and four triangular sides, equal in shape. The pyramid shape can be elongated or flattened and remains a pyramid as long as it remain three-dimensional. The only difference among pyramids, outside of the material they are made of, is the angles of its sides, dictating how steep the pyramid is.


Related Subjects:


Giza Models
Nubian Pyramids
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