Pentachoron
Encyclopedia
In geometry
, the 5cell is a fourdimensional object bounded by 5 tetrahedral cells
. It is also known as the pentachoron, pentatope, or hyperpyramid. It is a 4simplex
, the simplest possible convex regular 4polytope
(fourdimensional analogue of a polyhedron
), and is analogous to the tetrahedron
in three dimensions and the triangle
in two dimensions.
The regular 5cell is bounded by regular tetrahedra, and is one of the six regular convex polychora, represented by Schläfli symbol {3,3,3}.
is a tetrahedron. Its maximal intersection with 3dimensional space is the triangular prism
. Its dihedral angle
is cos^{−1}(1/4), or approximately 75.52°.
with a tetrahedral
base.)
The Cartesian coordinates of the vertices of an origincentered regular 5cell having edge length 2 are:
The vertices of a 4simplex (with edge √2) can be more simply constructed on a hyperplane
in 5space, as permutations of (0,0,0,0,1) or (0,1,1,1,1); in these positions it is a facet of, respectively, the 5orthoplex or the rectified penteract.
constructed from the [3,3,3] Coxeter group
.
, constructed as a tetrahedron
base in a 3space hyperplane
, and an apex
point above the hyperplane. The four sides of the pyramid are made of tetrahedron cells.
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of premodern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....
, the 5cell is a fourdimensional object bounded by 5 tetrahedral cells
Tetrahedron
In geometry, a tetrahedron is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. A regular tetrahedron is one in which the four triangles are regular, or "equilateral", and is one of the Platonic solids...
. It is also known as the pentachoron, pentatope, or hyperpyramid. It is a 4simplex
Simplex
In geometry, a simplex is a generalization of the notion of a triangle or tetrahedron to arbitrary dimension. Specifically, an nsimplex is an ndimensional polytope which is the convex hull of its n + 1 vertices. For example, a 2simplex is a triangle, a 3simplex is a tetrahedron,...
, the simplest possible convex regular 4polytope
Convex regular 4polytope
In mathematics, a convex regular 4polytope is a 4dimensional polytope that is both regular and convex. These are the fourdimensional analogs of the Platonic solids and the regular polygons ....
(fourdimensional analogue of a polyhedron
Polyhedron
In elementary geometry a polyhedron is a geometric solid in three dimensions with flat faces and straight edges...
), and is analogous to the tetrahedron
Tetrahedron
In geometry, a tetrahedron is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. A regular tetrahedron is one in which the four triangles are regular, or "equilateral", and is one of the Platonic solids...
in three dimensions and the triangle
Triangle
A triangle is one of the basic shapes of geometry: a polygon with three corners or vertices and three sides or edges which are line segments. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted ....
in two dimensions.
The regular 5cell is bounded by regular tetrahedra, and is one of the six regular convex polychora, represented by Schläfli symbol {3,3,3}.
Geometry
The 5cell is selfdual, and its vertex figureVertex figure
In geometry a vertex figure is, broadly speaking, the figure exposed when a corner of a polyhedron or polytope is sliced off.Definitions  theme and variations:...
is a tetrahedron. Its maximal intersection with 3dimensional space is the triangular prism
Triangular prism
In geometry, a triangular prism is a threesided prism; it is a polyhedron made of a triangular base, a translated copy, and 3 faces joining corresponding sides....
. Its dihedral angle
Dihedral angle
In geometry, a dihedral or torsion angle is the angle between two planes.The dihedral angle of two planes can be seen by looking at the planes "edge on", i.e., along their line of intersection...
is cos^{−1}(1/4), or approximately 75.52°.
Construction
The 5cell can be constructed from a tetrahedron by adding a 5th vertex such that it is equidistant from all the other vertices of the tetrahedron. (The 5cell is essentially a 4dimensional pyramidPyramid (geometry)
In geometry, a pyramid is a polyhedron formed by connecting a polygonal base and a point, called the apex. Each base edge and apex form a triangle. It is a conic solid with polygonal base....
with a tetrahedral
Tetrahedron
In geometry, a tetrahedron is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. A regular tetrahedron is one in which the four triangles are regular, or "equilateral", and is one of the Platonic solids...
base.)
The Cartesian coordinates of the vertices of an origincentered regular 5cell having edge length 2 are:
The vertices of a 4simplex (with edge √2) can be more simply constructed on a hyperplane
Hyperplane
A hyperplane is a concept in geometry. It is a generalization of the plane into a different number of dimensions.A hyperplane of an ndimensional space is a flat subset with dimension n − 1...
in 5space, as permutations of (0,0,0,0,1) or (0,1,1,1,1); in these positions it is a facet of, respectively, the 5orthoplex or the rectified penteract.
Projections
Projections to 3 dimensions  

Stereographic projection Stereographic projection The stereographic projection, in geometry, is a particular mapping that projects a sphere onto a plane. The projection is defined on the entire sphere, except at one point — the projection point. Where it is defined, the mapping is smooth and bijective. It is conformal, meaning that it... wireframe (edge projected onto a 3sphere 3sphere In mathematics, a 3sphere is a higherdimensional analogue of a sphere. It consists of the set of points equidistant from a fixed central point in 4dimensional Euclidean space... ) 
A 3D projection of a 5cell performing a simple rotation 
The vertexfirst projection of the pentachoron into 3 dimensions has a tetrahedral Tetrahedron In geometry, a tetrahedron is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. A regular tetrahedron is one in which the four triangles are regular, or "equilateral", and is one of the Platonic solids... projection envelope. The closest vertex of the pentachoron projects to the center of the tetrahedron, as shown here in red. The farthest cell projects onto the tetrahedral envelope itself, while the other 4 cells project onto the 4 flattened tetrahedral regions surrounding the central vertex. 
The edgefirst projection of the pentachoron into 3 dimensions has a triangular dipyramidal Triangular dipyramid In geometry, the triangular bipyramid is the first in the infinite set of facetransitive bipyramids. It is the dual of the triangular prism with 6 isosceles triangle faces.... envelope. The closest edge (shown here in red) projects to the axis of the dipyramid, with the three cells surrounding it projecting to 3 tetrahedral volumes arranged around this axis at 120 degrees to each other. The remaining 2 cells project to the two halves of the dipyramid and are on the far side of the pentatope. 
The facefirst projection of the pentachoron into 3 dimensions also has a triangular dipyramidal envelope. The nearest face is shown here in red. The two cells that meet at this face projects to the two halves of the dipyramid. The remaining three cells are on the far side of the pentatope from the 4D viewpoint, and are culled from the image for clarity. They are arranged around the central axis of the dipyramid, just as in the edgefirst projection. 
The cellfirst projection of the pentachoron into 3 dimensions has a tetrahedral envelope. The nearest cell projects onto the entire envelope, and, from the 4D viewpoint, obscures the other 4 cells; hence, they are not rendered here. 
Alternative names
 Pentachoron
 4simplexSimplexIn geometry, a simplex is a generalization of the notion of a triangle or tetrahedron to arbitrary dimension. Specifically, an nsimplex is an ndimensional polytope which is the convex hull of its n + 1 vertices. For example, a 2simplex is a triangle, a 3simplex is a tetrahedron,...
 Pentatope
 Pentahedroid (Henry Parker Manning)
 Pen (Jonathan Bowers: for pentachoron)
 Hyperpyramid
Related uniform polychora
The pentachoron (5cell) is the simplest of 9 uniform polychoraUniform polychoron
In geometry, a uniform polychoron is a polychoron or 4polytope which is vertextransitive and whose cells are uniform polyhedra....
constructed from the [3,3,3] Coxeter group
Coxeter group
In mathematics, a Coxeter group, named after H.S.M. Coxeter, is an abstract group that admits a formal description in terms of mirror symmetries. Indeed, the finite Coxeter groups are precisely the finite Euclidean reflection groups; the symmetry groups of regular polyhedra are an example...
.
Other forms
The 5cell can also be considered a tetrahedral pyramidPolyhedral pyramid
In 4dimensional geometry, a polyhedral pyramid is a 4polytope constructed by a base polyhedron cell and an apex point. The lateral facets are pyramid cells, each constructed by one face of the base polyhedron and the apex....
, constructed as a tetrahedron
Tetrahedron
In geometry, a tetrahedron is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. A regular tetrahedron is one in which the four triangles are regular, or "equilateral", and is one of the Platonic solids...
base in a 3space hyperplane
Hyperplane
A hyperplane is a concept in geometry. It is a generalization of the plane into a different number of dimensions.A hyperplane of an ndimensional space is a flat subset with dimension n − 1...
, and an apex
Apex (geometry)
In geometry, an apex is the vertex which is in some sense the highest of the figure to which it belongs.*In an isosceles triangle, the apex is the vertex where the two sides of equal length meet, opposite the unequal third side....
point above the hyperplane. The four sides of the pyramid are made of tetrahedron cells.
External links

 Der 5Zeller (5cell) Marco Möller's Regular polytopes in R^{4} (German)
 Jonathan Bowers, Regular polychora
 Java3D Applets