Snub (geometry)

Two chiral copies of the snub cube, as alternated (red or green) vertices of the truncated cuboctahedron.

In geometry, a snub is an operation applied to a polyhedron. The term originates from Kepler's names of two Archimedean solids, for the snub cube (cubus simus) and snub dodecahedron (dodecaedron simum).[1] In general, snubs have chiral symmetry with two forms: with clockwise or counterclockwise orientation. By Kepler's names, a snub can be seen as an expansion of a regular polyhedron: moving the faces apart, twisting them about their centers, adding new polygons centered on the original vertices, and adding pairs of triangles fitting between the original edges.

The terminology was generalized by Coxeter, with a slightly different definition, for a wider set of uniform polytopes.

John Conway explored generalized polyhedron operators, defining what is now called Conway polyhedron notation, which can be applied to polyhedra and tilings. Conway calls Coxeter's operation a semi-snub.[2]

In this notation, snub is defined by the dual and gyro operators, as s = dg, and it is equivalent to an alternation of a truncation of an ambo operator. Conway's notation itself avoids Coxeter's alternation (half) operation since it only applies for polyhedra with only even-sided faces.

In 4-dimensions, Conway suggests the snub 24-cell should be called a semi-snub 24-cell because, unlike 3-dimensional snub polyhedra are alternated omnitruncated forms, it is not an alternated omnitruncated 24-cell. It is instead actually an alternated truncated 24-cell.[3]

Nonuniform polyhedra with all even-valance vertices can be snubbed, including some infinite sets; for example:

Snub star-polyhedra are constructed by their Schwarz triangle (p q r), with rational ordered mirror-angles, and all mirrors active and alternated.