Bicupola (geometry)

Bicupola (geometry)
Set of bicupolae
Triangular gyrobicupola
Faces 2n triangles,
2n squares
2 n-agon
Edges 8n
Vertices 4n
Symmetry group Ortho: Dnh
Gyro: Dnd
Properties convex
The gyrobifastigium (J26) can be considered a digonal gyrobicupola.

In geometry, a bicupola is a solid formed by connecting two cupolae on their bases.

There are two classes of bicupola because each cupola half is bordered by alternating triangles and squares. If similar faces are attached together the result is an orthobicupola; if squares are attached to triangles it is a gyrobicupola.

Cupolae and bicupolae categorically exist as infinite sets of polyhedra, just like the pyramids, bipyramids, prisms, and trapezohedra.

Six bicupolae have regular polygon faces: triangular, square and pentagonal ortho- and gyrobicupolae. The triangular gyrobicupola is an Archimedean solid, the cuboctahedron; the other five are Johnson solids.

Bicupolae of higher order can be constructed if the flank faces are allowed to stretch into rectangles and isosceles triangles.

Bicupolae are special in having four faces on every vertex. This means that their dual polyhedra will have all quadrilateral faces. The best known example is the rhombic dodecahedron composed of 12 rhombic faces. The dual of the ortho-form, triangular orthobicupola, is also a dodecahedron, similar to rhombic dodecahedron, but it has 6 trapezoid faces which alternate long and short edges around the circumference.



Set of orthobicupolae

Symmetry Picture Description
Triangular orthobicupola.png Triangular orthobicupola (J27): 8 triangles, 6 squares; its dual is the trapezo-rhombic dodecahedron
Square orthobicupola.png Square orthobicupola (J28): 8 triangles, 10 squares
Pentagonal orthobicupola.png Pentagonal orthobicupola (J30): 10 triangles, 10 squares, 2 pentagons
n-gonal orthobicupola: 2n triangles, 2n squares, 2 n-gons

Set of gyrobicupolae

Symmetry Picture Description
Gyrobifastigium.png Gyrobifastigium (J26): 4 triangles, 4 squares
Cuboctahedron.svg Triangular gyrobicupola or cuboctahedron: 8 triangles, 6 squares; its dual is the rhombic dodecahedron
Square gyrobicupola.png Square gyrobicupola (J29): 8 triangles, 10 squares
Pentagonal gyrobicupola.png Pentagonal gyrobicupola (J31): 10 triangles, 10 squares, 2 pentagons
n-gonal gyrobicupola: 2n triangles, 2n squares, 2 n-gons


  • Norman W. Johnson, "Convex Solids with Regular Faces", Canadian Journal of Mathematics, 18, 1966, pages 169–200. Contains the original enumeration of the 92 solids and the conjecture that there are no others.
  • Victor A. Zalgaller (1969). Convex Polyhedra with Regular Faces. Consultants Bureau. No ISBN.  The first proof that there are only 92 Johnson solids.

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