Heawood Graph - Koko90

Heawood Graph

This is the Heawood graph. This graph can be drawn on a torus with no edges crossing in such a way that it divides the torus into 7 hexagons, each pair of which shares an edge. In 1890, Percy John Heawood proved that for any map drawn on a torus, it takes at most 7 colors to ensure that no two countries sharing a common boundary have the same color. The Heawood graph proves that the number 7 is optimal.

Lattice of Partitions of a 4-Element Set - Tilman Piesk

Lattice of Partitions

This picture by Tilman Piesk shows the 15 partitions of a 4-element set, ordered by refinement. Finer partitions are connected to coarser ones by lines going down. In the finest partition, on top, each of the 4 elements is in its own subset. In the coarsest one, on bottom, all 4 elements are in the same subset.

Harmonic Orbit - Greg Egan

Harmonic Orbit

The Kepler problem concerns a particle moving under the influence of gravity, like a planet moving around the Sun. Newton showed the orbit of such a particle is an ellipse, assuming it doesn’t fly off to infinity. There are many ways to prove this, but the most illuminating is to reparametrize time and think of the orbit as a circle in 4 dimensions. When the circle is projected down to 3-dimensional space, it becomes an ellipse. The animation in this post, created by Greg Egan, shows how this works.

Twin Dodecahedra - Greg Egan

Twin Dodecahedra

Here Greg Egan has drawn two regular dodecahedra, in red and blue. They share 8 corners—and these are the corners of a cube, shown in green. Adrian Ocneanu calls these twin dodecahedra, and has proved some fascinating results about them.

Branched Cover from (4 4 3/2) Schwarz Triangle - Greg Egan

Branched Cover from (4 4 3/2) Schwarz Triangle

A Schwarz triangle is a spherical triangle that can be used to generate a tiling of a branched covering of the sphere by repeatedly reflecting this triangle across its edges. Sometimes we get an actual tiling of the sphere, but in general we get a branched covering, because the same point can lie in the interior of several triangles, and there may be branch points at the corners of the triangles.