In the science section of The New York Times the article “Cosmic Soccer Ball? Theory Already Takes Sharp Kicks” presumes that the basic geometry of a soccer ball is the dodecahedron, while in fact it is the truncated icosahedron, otherwise affectionately known as the buckyball. Of course, the two polyhedra are closely related forms in everyday three dimensional space, and the article is concerned with a subject where the geometry is non-euclidean. To be fair to the Times, it could be that the mathematician Jeffrey Weeks is a bit fuzzy about footballs. From an article on the same subject in New Scientist:
According to Weeks, the WMAP results point to a very specific illusion - that our Universe seems like an endlessly repeating set of dodecahedrons, football-like shapes with a surface of 12 identical pentagons. If you exit the football through one pentagon, you re-enter the same region through the opposite face and you keep meeting the same galaxies over and over again.
posted @ 01:06 PM EDT