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## Summary

Graphs of the six convex regular 4-polytopes
{3,3,3} {3,3,4} {4,3,3} 5-cell
Pentatope
4-simplex 16-cell
Orthoplex
4-orthoplex 8-cell
Tesseract
4-cube
{3,4,3} {5,3,3} {3,3,5} 24-cell
Octaplex 600-cell
Tetraplex 120-cell
Dodecaplex

In geometry, a 4-polytope (sometimes also called a polychoron, polycell, or polyhedroid) is a four-dimensional polytope. It is a connected and closed figure, composed of lower-dimensional polytopal elements: vertices, edges, faces (polygons), and cells (polyhedra). Each face is shared by exactly two cells. The 4-polytopes were discovered by the Swiss mathematician Ludwig Schläfli before 1853.

The two-dimensional analogue of a 4-polytope is a polygon, and the three-dimensional analogue is a polyhedron.

Topologically 4-polytopes are closely related to the uniform honeycombs, such as the cubic honeycomb, which tessellate 3-space; similarly the 3D cube is related to the infinite 2D square tiling. Convex 4-polytopes can be cut and unfolded as nets in 3-space.

## Definition

A 4-polytope is a closed four-dimensional figure. It comprises vertices (corner points), edges, faces and cells. A cell is the three-dimensional analogue of a face, and is therefore a polyhedron. Each face must join exactly two cells, analogous to the way in which each edge of a polyhedron joins just two faces. Like any polytope, the elements of a 4-polytope cannot be subdivided into two or more sets which are also 4-polytopes, i.e. it is not a compound.

## Geometry

The convex regular 4-polytopes are the four-dimensional analogues of the Platonic solids. The most familiar 4-polytope is the tesseract or hypercube, the 4D analogue of the cube.

The convex regular 4-polytopes can be ordered by size as a measure of 4-dimensional content (hypervolume) for the same radius. Each greater polytope in the sequence is rounder than its predecessor, enclosing more content within the same radius. The 4-simplex (5-cell) is the limit smallest case, and the 120-cell is the largest. Complexity (as measured by comparing configuration matrices or simply the number of vertices) follows the same ordering.

Regular convex 4-polytopes
Symmetry group A4 B4 F4 H4
Name 5-cell

Hyper-tetrahedron
5-point

16-cell

Hyper-octahedron
8-point

8-cell

Hyper-cube
16-point

24-cell

24-point

600-cell

Hyper-icosahedron
120-point

120-cell

Hyper-dodecahedron
600-point

Schläfli symbol {3, 3, 3} {3, 3, 4} {4, 3, 3} {3, 4, 3} {3, 3, 5} {5, 3, 3}
Coxeter mirrors
Graph
Vertices 5 8 16 24 120 600
Edges 10 24 32 96 720 1200
Faces 10 triangles 32 triangles 24 squares 96 triangles 1200 triangles 720 pentagons
Cells 5 tetrahedra 16 tetrahedra 8 cubes 24 octahedra 600 tetrahedra 120 dodecahedra
Tori 1 5-tetrahedron 2 8-tetrahedron 2 4-cube 4 6-octahedron 20 30-tetrahedron 12 10-dodecahedron
Inscribed 120 in 120-cell 1 16-cell 2 16-cells 3 8-cells 5 24-cells x 5 5 600-cells x 2
Great polygons 2 𝝅/2 squares x 3 4 𝝅/2 rectangles x 3 4 𝝅/3 hexagons x 4 12 𝝅/5 decagons x 6 50 𝝅/15 dodecagons x 4
Petrie polygons 1 pentagon 1 octagon 2 octagons 2 dodecagons 4 30-gons 20 30-gons
Isocline polygons 1 {8/2}=2{4} x {8/2}=2{4} 2 {8/2}=2{4} x {8/2}=2{4} 2 {12/2}=2{6} x {12/6}=6{2} 4 {30/2}=2{15} x 30{0} 20 {30/2}=2{15} x 30{0}
Long radius 1 1 1 1 1 1
Edge length 5/2 ≈ 1.581 2 ≈ 1.414 1 1 1/ϕ ≈ 0.618 1/2ϕ2 ≈ 0.270
Short radius 1/4 1/2 1/2 2/2 ≈ 0.707 1 - (2/23φ)2 ≈ 0.936 1 - (1/23φ)2 ≈ 0.968
Area 10•8/3 ≈ 9.428 32•3/4 ≈ 13.856 24 96•3/4 ≈ 41.569 1200•3/2 ≈ 99.238 720•25+105/4 ≈ 621.9
Volume 5•55/24 ≈ 2.329 16•1/3 ≈ 5.333 8 24•2/3 ≈ 11.314 600•1/38φ3 ≈ 16.693 120•2 + φ/28φ3 ≈ 18.118
4-Content 5/24•(5/2)4 ≈ 0.146 2/3 ≈ 0.667 1 2 Short∙Vol/4 ≈ 3.907 Short∙Vol/4 ≈ 4.385

## Visualisation

Example presentations of a 24-cell
Sectioning Net

Projections
Schlegel 2D orthogonal 3D orthogonal

4-polytopes cannot be seen in three-dimensional space due to their extra dimension. Several techniques are used to help visualise them.

Orthogonal projection

Orthogonal projections can be used to show various symmetry orientations of a 4-polytope. They can be drawn in 2D as vertex-edge graphs, and can be shown in 3D with solid faces as visible projective envelopes.

Perspective projection

Just as a 3D shape can be projected onto a flat sheet, so a 4-D shape can be projected onto 3-space or even onto a flat sheet. One common projection is a Schlegel diagram which uses stereographic projection of points on the surface of a 3-sphere into three dimensions, connected by straight edges, faces, and cells drawn in 3-space.

Sectioning

Just as a slice through a polyhedron reveals a cut surface, so a slice through a 4-polytope reveals a cut "hypersurface" in three dimensions. A sequence of such sections can be used to build up an understanding of the overall shape. The extra dimension can be equated with time to produce a smooth animation of these cross sections.

Nets

A net of a 4-polytope is composed of polyhedral cells that are connected by their faces and all occupy the same three-dimensional space, just as the polygon faces of a net of a polyhedron are connected by their edges and all occupy the same plane.

## Topological characteristics

The topology of any given 4-polytope is defined by its Betti numbers and torsion coefficients.

The value of the Euler characteristic used to characterise polyhedra does not generalize usefully to higher dimensions, and is zero for all 4-polytopes, whatever their underlying topology. This inadequacy of the Euler characteristic to reliably distinguish between different topologies in higher dimensions led to the discovery of the more sophisticated Betti numbers.

Similarly, the notion of orientability of a polyhedron is insufficient to characterise the surface twistings of toroidal 4-polytopes, and this led to the use of torsion coefficients.

## Classification

### Criteria

Like all polytopes, 4-polytopes may be classified based on properties like "convexity" and "symmetry".

### Classes

The following lists the various categories of 4-polytopes classified according to the criteria above:

The truncated 120-cell is one of 47 convex non-prismatic uniform 4-polytopes

Other convex 4-polytopes:

The regular cubic honeycomb is the only infinite regular 4-polytope in Euclidean 3-dimensional space.

Infinite uniform 4-polytopes of Euclidean 3-space (uniform tessellations of convex uniform cells)

Infinite uniform 4-polytopes of hyperbolic 3-space (uniform tessellations of convex uniform cells)

• 41 unique dual convex uniform 4-polytopes
• 17 unique dual convex uniform polyhedral prisms
• infinite family of dual convex uniform duoprisms (irregular tetrahedral cells)
• 27 unique convex dual uniform honeycombs, including:

Others:

The 11-cell is an abstract regular 4-polytope, existing in the real projective plane, it can be seen by presenting its 11 hemi-icosahedral vertices and cells by index and color.

These categories include only the 4-polytopes that exhibit a high degree of symmetry. Many other 4-polytopes are possible, but they have not been studied as extensively as the ones included in these categories.