Golden, Quasicrystalline, Chiral Packings of Tetrahedra

Golden, Quasicrystalline, Chiral Packings of Tetrahedra , updated 7/21/20, 10:16 PM


Fang Fang, Garrett Sadler, Julio Kovacs and Klee Irwin (2012)

Since antiquity, the packing of convex shapes has been of great interest to many scientists and mathematicians. Recently, particular interest has been given to packings of three-dimensional tetrahedra. Dense packings of both crystalline and semi-quasicrystalline have been reported. It is interesting that a semi-quasicrystalline packing of tetrahedra can emerge naturally within a thermodynamic simulation approach. However, this packing is not perfectly quasicrystalline and the packing density, while dense, is not maximal. Here we suggest that a “golden rotation” between tetrahedral facial junctions can arrange tetrahedra into a perfect quasicrystalline packing. Using this golden rotation, tetrahedra can be organized into “triangular”, “pentagonal”, and “spherical” locally dense aggregates. Additionally, the aperiodic Boerdijk-Coxeter helix (tetrahelix) is transformed into a structure of 3-or 5-fold periodicity—depending on the relative chiralities of the helix and rotation—herein referred to as the “philix”. Further, using this same rotation, we build (1) a shell structure which resembles a Penrose tiling upon projection into two dimensions, and (2) a “tetragrid” structure assembled of golden rhombohedral unit cells. Our results indicate that this rotation is closely associated with Fuller’s “jitterbug transformation” and that the total number of face-plane classes (defined below) is significantly reduced in comparison with general tetrahedral aggregations, suggesting a quasicrystalline packing of tetrahedra which is both dynamic and dense. The golden rotation that we report presents a novel tool for arranging tetrahedra into perfect quasicrystalline, dense packings.

About Klee Irwin

Klee Irwin is an author, researcher and entrepreneur who now dedicates the majority of his time to Quantum Gravity Research (QGR), a non-profit research institute that he founded in 2009. The mission of the organization is to discover the geometric first-principles unification of space, time, matter, energy, information, and consciousness.


As the Director of QGR, Klee manages a dedicated team of mathematicians and physicists in developing emergence theory to replace the current disparate and conflicting physics theories. Since 2009, the team has published numerous papers and journal articles analyzing the fundamentals of physics.

Klee is also the founder and owner of Irwin Naturals, an award-winning global natural supplement company providing alternative health and healing products sold in thousands of retailers across the globe including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Costco, RiteAid, WalMart, CVS, GNC and many others. Irwin Naturals is a long time supporter of Vitamin Angels, which aims to provide lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition thereby reducing preventable illness, blindness, and death and creating healthier communities.

Outside of his work in physics, Klee is active in supporting students, scientists, educators, and founders in their aim toward discovering solutions to activate positive change in the world.  He has supported and invested in a wide range of people, causes and companies including, Upworthy, Donors Choose, Moon Express, Mayasil, the X PRIZE Foundation, and Singularity University where he is an Associate Founder.

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