Mistaken Identity


The new exhibit at the Museum needs everyone's attention.  Refer to Magical Pattern Wizardry

The hexagonal patterns shown at the left is often mistaken for a part of a geodesic dome,  Geodesic is a technical term that we need to define in order to make things clear.

A geodesic on a surface is the shortest distance between two points.  So the geodesic for a plane is a straight line and for a sphere it is a great circle.


Other surfaces have their own geodesics.  For example a cylinder has a helix as a geodesic as can be seen by looking a the sculpture 'Renewal' which is at the Bruce County Museum. 

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The helices are wrapped around an invisible cylinder.  So if  an ant wants to climb to the top of the sculpture from the ground and the point is not right above him on a real cylinder, the shortest path is via a helix.

So in summary a geodesic is the shortest distance between two points on a given surface.

The revolving spheres shown above on the left is a real Geodesic Dome like Buckminster Fuller would use to make a house or strong structure.  As you can see it is composed of triangles.  If you look closely you will see, however, that the lines of the triangles form great circles of the dome. Of course they are not right on the sphere, but close is good enough. That's where the phrase Geodesic Dome" comes from This is an immensely strong structure.

What's shown on the right is not technically a geodesic dome, but is a beautiful structure none the less.  It's formed by our bee hive hexagon elements and it is called a 'dual' of the its close relative on the left.  It does not have the lines that would make it a real geodesic dome.