Vertex (geometry)

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In geometry, a vertex (in plural form: vertices or vertexes), often denoted by letters such as , , , , is a point where two or more curves, lines, or edges meet. As a consequence of this definition, the point where two lines meet to form an angle and the corners of polygons and polyhedra are vertices. [1] [2] [3]



Of an angle

A vertex of an angle is the endpoint where two line or rays come together. Two rays and one vertex.png
A vertex of an angle is the endpoint where two line or rays come together.

The vertex of an angle is the point where two rays begin or meet, where two line segments join or meet, where two lines intersect (cross), or any appropriate combination of rays, segments and lines that result in two straight "sides" meeting at one place. [3] [4]

Of a polytope

A vertex is a corner point of a polygon, polyhedron, or other higher-dimensional polytope, formed by the intersection of edges, faces or facets of the object. [4]

In a polygon, a vertex is called "convex" if the internal angle of the polygon (i.e., the angle formed by the two edges at the vertex with the polygon inside the angle) is less than π radians (180°, two right angles); otherwise, it is called "concave" or "reflex". [5] More generally, a vertex of a polyhedron or polytope is convex, if the intersection of the polyhedron or polytope with a sufficiently small sphere centered at the vertex is convex, and is concave otherwise.[ citation needed ]

Polytope vertices are related to vertices of graphs, in that the 1-skeleton of a polytope is a graph, the vertices of which correspond to the vertices of the polytope, [6] and in that a graph can be viewed as a 1-dimensional simplicial complex the vertices of which are the graph's vertices.[ citation needed ]

However, in graph theory, vertices may have fewer than two incident edges, which is usually not allowed for geometric vertices. There is also a connection between geometric vertices and the vertices of a curve, its points of extreme curvature: in some sense the vertices of a polygon are points of infinite curvature, and if a polygon is approximated by a smooth curve, there will be a point of extreme curvature near each polygon vertex. [7] However, a smooth curve approximation to a polygon will also have additional vertices, at the points where its curvature is minimal.[ citation needed ]

Of a plane tiling

A vertex of a plane tiling or tessellation is a point where three or more tiles meet; [8] generally, but not always, the tiles of a tessellation are polygons and the vertices of the tessellation are also vertices of its tiles. More generally, a tessellation can be viewed as a kind of topological cell complex, as can the faces of a polyhedron or polytope; the vertices of other kinds of complexes such as simplicial complexes are its zero-dimensional faces.[ citation needed ]

Principal vertex

Vertex B is an ear, because the open line segment between C and D is entirely inside the polygon. Vertex C is a mouth, because the open line segment between A and B is entirely outside the polygon. Polygon mouths and ears.svg
Vertex B is an ear, because the open line segment between C and D is entirely inside the polygon. Vertex C is a mouth, because the open line segment between A and B is entirely outside the polygon.

A polygon vertex xi of a simple polygon P is a principal polygon vertex if the diagonal [x(i − 1), x(i + 1)] intersects the boundary of P only at x(i − 1) and x(i + 1). There are two types of principal vertices: ears and mouths. [9]


A principal vertex xi of a simple polygon P is called an ear if the diagonal [x(i − 1), x(i + 1)] that bridges xi lies entirely in P. (see also convex polygon) According to the two ears theorem, every simple polygon has at least two ears. [10]


A principal vertex xi of a simple polygon P is called a mouth if the diagonal [x(i − 1), x(i + 1)] lies outside the boundary of P.

Number of vertices of a polyhedron

Any convex polyhedron's surface has Euler characteristic

where V is the number of vertices, E is the number of edges, and F is the number of faces. This equation is known as Euler's polyhedron formula. Thus the number of vertices is 2 more than the excess of the number of edges over the number of faces. For example, since a cube has 12 edges and 6 faces, the formula implies that it has eight vertices.[ citation needed ]

Vertices in computer graphics

In computer graphics, objects are often represented as triangulated polyhedra in which the object vertices are associated not only with three spatial coordinates but also with other graphical information necessary to render the object correctly, such as colors, reflectance properties, textures, and surface normal. [11] These properties are used in rendering by a vertex shader, part of the vertex pipeline.

See also

Related Research Articles

Cuboctahedron Polyhedron with 8 triangular faces and 6 square faces

A cuboctahedron is a polyhedron with 8 triangular faces and 6 square faces. A cuboctahedron has 12 identical vertices, with 2 triangles and 2 squares meeting at each, and 24 identical edges, each separating a triangle from a square. As such, it is a quasiregular polyhedron, i.e. an Archimedean solid that is not only vertex-transitive but also edge-transitive. It is radially equilateral.

Cube Solid object with six equal square faces

In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex.

Dual polyhedron Polyhedron associated with another by swapping vertices for faces

In geometry, every polyhedron is associated with a second dual structure, where the vertices of one correspond to the faces of the other, and the edges between pairs of vertices of one correspond to the edges between pairs of faces of the other. Such dual figures remain combinatorial or abstract polyhedra, but not all can also be constructed as geometric polyhedra. Starting with any given polyhedron, the dual of its dual is the original polyhedron.

Octahedron Polyhedron with 8 triangular faces

In geometry, an octahedron is a polyhedron with eight faces. The term is most commonly used to refer to the regular octahedron, a Platonic solid composed of eight equilateral triangles, four of which meet at each vertex.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polyhedron</span> 3D shape with flat faces, straight edges and sharp corners

In geometry, a polyhedron is a three-dimensional shape with flat polygonal faces, straight edges and sharp corners or vertices.

In elementary geometry, a polytope is a geometric object with flat sides (faces). It is a generalization in any number of dimensions of the three-dimensional polyhedron. Polytopes may exist in any general number of dimensions n as an n-dimensional polytope or n-polytope. In this context, "flat sides" means that the sides of a (k + 1)-polytope consist of k-polytopes that may have (k – 1)-polytopes in common. For example, a two-dimensional polygon is a 2-polytope and a three-dimensional polyhedron is a 3-polytope.

4-polytope Four-dimensional geometric object with flat sides

In geometry, a 4-polytope 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.

In solid geometry, a face is a flat surface that forms part of the boundary of a solid object; a three-dimensional solid bounded exclusively by faces is a polyhedron.

Schläfli symbol Notation that defines regular polytopes and tessellations

In geometry, the Schläfli symbol is a notation of the form that defines regular polytopes and tessellations.

In geometry, a polytope or a tiling is isogonal or vertex-transitive if all its vertices are equivalent under the symmetries of the figure. This implies that each vertex is surrounded by the same kinds of face in the same or reverse order, and with the same angles between corresponding faces.

Vertex figure Shape made by slicing off a corner of a polytope

In geometry, a vertex figure, broadly speaking, is the figure exposed when a corner of a polyhedron or polytope is sliced off.

Convex polytope Convex hull of a finite set of points in a Euclidean space

A convex polytope is a special case of a polytope, having the additional property that it is also a convex set contained in the -dimensional Euclidean space . Most texts use the term "polytope" for a bounded convex polytope, and the word "polyhedron" for the more general, possibly unbounded object. Others allow polytopes to be unbounded. The terms "bounded/unbounded convex polytope" will be used below whenever the boundedness is critical to the discussed issue. Yet other texts identify a convex polytope with its boundary.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rectification (geometry)</span> Operation in Euclidean geometry

In Euclidean geometry, rectification, also known as critical truncation or complete-truncation, is the process of truncating a polytope by marking the midpoints of all its edges, and cutting off its vertices at those points. The resulting polytope will be bounded by vertex figure facets and the rectified facets of the original polytope.

In geometry, a uniform tiling is a tessellation of the plane by regular polygon faces with the restriction of being vertex-transitive.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edge (geometry)</span> Line segment joining two adjacent vertices in a polygon or polytope

In geometry, an edge is a particular type of line segment joining two vertices in a polygon, polyhedron, or higher-dimensional polytope. In a polygon, an edge is a line segment on the boundary, and is often called a polygon side. In a polyhedron or more generally a polytope, an edge is a line segment where two faces meet. A segment joining two vertices while passing through the interior or exterior is not an edge but instead is called a diagonal.

In polyhedral combinatorics, a branch of mathematics, Steinitz's theorem is a characterization of the undirected graphs formed by the edges and vertices of three-dimensional convex polyhedra: they are exactly the 3-vertex-connected planar graphs. That is, every convex polyhedron forms a 3-connected planar graph, and every 3-connected planar graph can be represented as the graph of a convex polyhedron. For this reason, the 3-connected planar graphs are also known as polyhedral graphs.

In geometry, a uniform honeycomb or uniform tessellation or infinite uniform polytope, is a vertex-transitive honeycomb made from uniform polytope facets. All of its vertices are identical and there is the same combination and arrangement of faces at each vertex. Its dimension can be clarified as n-honeycomb for an n-dimensional honeycomb.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polyhedral graph</span> Graph made from vertices and edges of a convex polyhedron

In geometric graph theory, a branch of mathematics, a polyhedral graph is the undirected graph formed from the vertices and edges of a convex polyhedron. Alternatively, in purely graph-theoretic terms, the polyhedral graphs are the 3-vertex-connected, planar graphs.

Density (polytope)

In geometry, the density of a star polyhedron is a generalization of the concept of winding number from two dimensions to higher dimensions, representing the number of windings of the polyhedron around the center of symmetry of the polyhedron. It can be determined by passing a ray from the center to infinity, passing only through the facets of the polytope and not through any lower dimensional features, and counting how many facets it passes through. For polyhedra for which this count does not depend on the choice of the ray, and for which the central point is not itself on any facet, the density is given by this count of crossed facets.


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