Pentacube Oddities with Orthogonal Mirror Symmetry

Introduction

A pentacube is a solid made of five cubes joined face to face. An oddity (or Sillke Figure) is a figure with even symmetry formed by an odd number of copies of a polyform.

In 1996, Torsten Sillke reported having found a point-symmetric arrangement of 17 F pentacubes. He asked whether 17 is the least such odd number, and more generally whether an odd number of copies of a polycube can be arranged to achieve any given symmetry. This was the earliest known mention of polyform oddities.

Polycubes have 33 symmetry classes (including asymmetry), and 31 of them have even order. That is too many to show here. Instead I show only oddities with orthogonal mirror symmetry. In all pictures, the cross-sections are shown from top to bottom. If you find a smaller solution, please write.

For other classes of symmetry, see:

  • Pentacube Oddities with Diagonal Mirror Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with Orthogonal Rotary Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with Diagonal Rotary Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with Inverse Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with 4-Rotary Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with Dual Orthogonal Mirror Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with Dual Diagonal Mirror Symmetry
  • Pentacube Oddities with Full Symmetry
  • Orthogonal Mirror Symmetry

    Orthogonal mirror symmetry is the symmetry of reflection through a plane parallel to some faces of the cells.

    The smallest example of a polycube with orthogonal mirror symmetry and no stronger symmetry is the L tetracube, as found by W. F. Lunnon:

    Achiral Pentacubes

    The solutions for pentacubes B, F, I, L, M, N, P, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z are trivial. Those pentacubes already have orthogonal mirror symmetry.

    Chiral, Disallowing Reflection

    Chiral, Allowing Reflection

    Last revised 2023-02-19.


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    Col. George Sicherman [ HOME | MAIL ]