08-07. Cuprite #2.

A cuprite turning into a gyroid.

A gyroid is a unique geometrical form. It is a minimal surface that contains neither straight lines nor planar symmetry. The gyroid is the only known embedded triply periodic minimal surface with triple junctions. It was first mapped out by NASA scientist Alan Schoen in 1970.

Cuprite is the only mineral in nature that forms gyroids. They are often modified by other forms.

This gyroid was created with a small mathematical visualization utility called 3D-XplorMath.

From a resource by Kirfel and Eichhorn.



08-06. Cuprite #1.

Cuprite – the mineral of Cyprus. A unique and lovely shape, cuprite will be the mineral of week 32, It will bring geometry back in the light on this short tour of the geometry of Nature. The cuprite crystal comes in cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and even gyroid shapes. Its refractive index is actually greater than a diamond’s. It forms an encrusting deep reddish coating over copper to which it has been associated.

And yes its name comes from the island of Cyprus: cuprium – the metal of Cyprus – to cuprum and today’s cuprite.

I felt compelled to bring together in the image a real picture of a cuprite, courtesy of Matteo Chinellato anda simple dodecahedron outline. The pleasant geometry of the dodecahedron, its mirror image in the crystal (or vice-versa) in front of the solid symmetrical structure of a cuprite unit cell brings to mind the question: what is the connection between geometry and nature. Geometry is a science of discovery. Did a few shepherds 4,000 years ago sat around a crystal of cuprite in Limassol and devised the rules of Euclidian geometry or did they devised the system using rational reasoning and found their proof later buried deep down in the soil. Where is the mathematical mind coming from? Is there a larger collective memory of all that participate in the existence of the planet – organic, mineral and other, that we are not aware of?