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Set of uniform n-gonal antiprisms
Hexagonal antiprism.png
Uniform hexagonal antiprism (n = 6)
Typeuniform in the sense of semiregular polyhedron
Faces2 regular n-gons
2n equilateral triangles
Vertex configuration3.3.3.n
Schläfli symbol{ }⊗{n} [1]
Conway notationAn
Coxeter diagramCDel node h.pngCDel 2x.pngCDel node h.pngCDel 2x.pngCDel n.pngCDel node.png
CDel node h.pngCDel 2x.pngCDel node h.pngCDel n.pngCDel node h.png
Symmetry groupDnd, [2+,2n], (2*n), order 4n
Rotation groupDn, [2,n]+, (22n), order 2n
Dual polyhedronconvex dual-uniform n-gonal trapezohedron
Propertiesconvex, vertex-transitive, regular polygon faces, congruent & coaxial bases
Generalized antiprisim net.svg
Net of uniform enneagonal antiprism (n = 9)

In geometry, an n-gonal antiprism or n-antiprism is a polyhedron composed of two parallel direct copies (not mirror images) of an n-sided polygon, connected by an alternating band of 2n triangles. They are represented by the Conway notation An.

Antiprisms are a subclass of prismatoids, and are a (degenerate) type of snub polyhedron.

Antiprisms are similar to prisms, except that the bases are twisted relatively to each other, and that the side faces (connecting the bases) are 2n triangles, rather than n quadrilaterals.

The dual polyhedron of an n-gonal antiprism is an n-gonal trapezohedron.


At the intersection of modern-day graph theory and coding theory, the triangulation of a set of points have interested mathematicians since Isaac Newton, who fruitlessly sought a mathematical proof of the kissing number problem in 1694.[2] The existence of antiprisms was discussed, and their name was coined by Johannes Kepler, though it is possible that they were previously known to Archimedes, as they satisfy the same conditions on faces and on vertices as the Archimedean solids.[citation needed] According to Ericson and Zinoviev, Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter wrote at length on the topic,[2] and was among the first to apply the mathematics of Victor Schlegel to this field.

Knowledge in this field is "quite incomplete" and "was obtained fairly recently", i.e. in the 20th century[citation needed]. For example, as of 2001 it had been proven for only a limited number of non-trivial cases that the n-gonal antiprism is the mathematically optimal arrangement of 2n points in the sense of maximizing the minimum Euclidean distance between any two points on the set: in 1943 by László Fejes Tóth for 4 and 6 points (digonal and trigonal antiprisms, which are Platonic solids); in 1951 by Kurt Schütte and Bartel Leendert van der Waerden for 8 points (tetragonal antiprism, which is not a cube).[2]

The chemical structure of binary compounds has been remarked to be in the family of antiprisms;[3] especially those of the family of boron hydrides (in 1975) and carboranes because they are isoelectronic. This is a mathematically real conclusion reached by studies of X-ray diffraction patterns,[4] and stems from the 1971 work of Kenneth Wade,[5] the nominative source for Wade's rules of polyhedral skeletal electron pair theory.

Rare-earth metals such as the lanthanides form antiprismatic compounds with some of the halides or some of the iodides. The study of crystallography is useful here.[6] Some lanthanides, when arranged in peculiar antiprismatic structures with chlorine and water, can form molecule-based magnets.[7]

Right antiprism[edit]

For an antiprism with regular n-gon bases, one usually considers the case where these two copies are twisted by an angle of 180/n degrees.

The axis of a regular polygon is the line perpendicular to the polygon plane and lying in the polygon centre.

For an antiprism with congruent regular n-gon bases, twisted by an angle of 180/n degrees, more regularity is obtained if the bases have the same axis: are coaxial; i.e. (for non-coplanar bases): if the line connecting the base centers is perpendicular to the base planes. Then the antiprism is called a right antiprism, and its 2n side faces are isosceles triangles.

Uniform antiprism[edit]

A uniform n-antiprism has two congruent regular n-gons as base faces, and 2n equilateral triangles as side faces.

Uniform antiprisms form an infinite class of vertex-transitive polyhedra, as do uniform prisms. For n = 2, we have the regular tetrahedron as a digonal antiprism (degenerate antiprism); for n = 3, the regular octahedron as a triangular antiprism (non-degenerate antiprism).

Family of uniform n-gonal antiprisms
Antiprism name Digonal antiprism (Trigonal)
Triangular antiprism
Square antiprism
Pentagonal antiprism Hexagonal antiprism Heptagonal antiprism Octagonal antiprism Enneagonal antiprism Decagonal antiprism Hendecagonal antiprism Dodecagonal antiprism ... Apeirogonal antiprism
Polyhedron image Digonal antiprism.png Trigonal antiprism.png Square antiprism.png Pentagonal antiprism.png Hexagonal antiprism.png Antiprism 7.png Octagonal antiprism.png Enneagonal antiprism.png Decagonal antiprism.png Hendecagonal antiprism.png Dodecagonal antiprism.png ...
Spherical tiling image Spherical digonal antiprism with digonal face.svg Spherical trigonal antiprism.png Spherical square antiprism.png Spherical pentagonal antiprism.png Spherical hexagonal antiprism.png Spherical heptagonal antiprism.png Spherical octagonal antiprism.png Plane tiling image Infinite antiprism.svg
Vertex config. ... ∞.3.3.3

Schlegel diagrams[edit]

Triangular antiprismatic graph.png
Square antiprismatic graph.png
Pentagonal antiprismatic graph.png
Hexagonal antiprismatic graph.png
Heptagonal antiprism graph.png
Octagonal antiprismatic graph.png

Cartesian coordinates[edit]

Cartesian coordinates for the vertices of a right n-antiprism (i.e. with regular n-gon bases and 2n isosceles triangle side faces) are:

where 0 ≤ k ≤ 2n – 1;

if the n-antiprism is uniform (i.e. if the triangles are equilateral), then:

Volume and surface area[edit]

Let a be the edge-length of a uniform n-gonal antiprism; then the volume is:

and the surface area is:

Related polyhedra[edit]

There are an infinite set of truncated antiprisms, including a lower-symmetry form of the truncated octahedron (truncated triangular antiprism). These can be alternated to create snub antiprisms, two of which are Johnson solids, and the snub triangular antiprism is a lower symmetry form of the regular icosahedron.

Digonal antiprism.png Trigonal antiprism.png Square antiprism.png Pentagonal antiprism.png ...
s{2,4} s{2,6} s{2,8} s{2,10} s{2,2n}
Truncated antiprisms
Truncated digonal antiprism.png Truncated octahedron prismatic symmetry.png Truncated square antiprism.png Truncated pentagonal antiprism.png ...
ts{2,4} ts{2,6} ts{2,8} ts{2,10} ts{2,2n}
Snub antiprisms
J84 Icosahedron J85 Irregular faces...
Snub digonal antiprism.png Snub triangular antiprism.png Snub square antiprism colored.png Snub pentagonal antiprism.png ...
ss{2,4} ss{2,6} ss{2,8} ss{2,10} ss{2,2n}


The symmetry group of a right n-antiprism (i.e. with regular bases and isosceles side faces) is Dnd = Dnv of order 4n, except in the cases of:

  • n = 2: the regular tetrahedron, which has the larger symmetry group Td of order 24 = 3×(4×2), which has three versions of D2d as subgroups;
  • n = 3: the regular octahedron, which has the larger symmetry group Oh of order 48 = 4×(4×3), which has four versions of D3d as subgroups.

The symmetry group contains inversion if and only if n is odd.

The rotation group is Dn of order 2n, except in the cases of:

  • n = 2: the regular tetrahedron, which has the larger rotation group T of order 12 = 3×(2×2), which has three versions of D2 as subgroups;
  • n = 3: the regular octahedron, which has the larger rotation group O of order 24 = 4×(2×3), which has four versions of D3 as subgroups.

Note: The right n-antiprisms have congruent regular n-gon bases and congruent isosceles triangle side faces, thus have the same (dihedral) symmetry group as the uniform n-antiprism, for n ≥ 4.

Star antiprism[edit]

Pentagrammic antiprism.png
Pentagrammic crossed antiprism.png
Antiprism 9-2.png
Antiprism 9-4.png
Antiprism 9-5.png
This shows all the non-star and star antiprisms up to 15 sides, together with those of a 29-gon.

Uniform star antiprisms are named by their star polygon bases, {p/q}, and exist in prograde and in retrograde (crossed) solutions. Crossed forms have intersecting vertex figures, and are denoted by "inverted" fractions: p/(p – q) instead of p/q; example: 5/3 instead of 5/2.

A right star antiprism has two congruent coaxial regular convex or star polygon base faces, and 2n isosceles triangle side faces.

Any star antiprism with regular convex or star polygon bases can be made a right star antiprism (by translating and/or twisting one of its bases, if necessary).

In the retrograde forms but not in the prograde forms, the triangles joining the convex or star bases intersect the axis of rotational symmetry. Thus:

  • Retrograde star antiprisms with regular convex polygon bases cannot have all equal edge lengths, so cannot be uniform. "Exception": a retrograde star antiprism with equilateral triangle bases (vertex configuration: 3.3/2.3.3) can be uniform; but then, it has the appearance of an equilateral triangle: it is a degenerate star polyhedron.
  • Similarly, some retrograde star antiprisms with regular star polygon bases cannot have all equal edge lengths, so cannot be uniform. Example: a retrograde star antiprism with regular star 7/5-gon bases (vertex configuration: cannot be uniform.

Also, star antiprism compounds with regular star p/q-gon bases can be constructed if p and q have common factors. Example: a star 10/4-antiprism is the compound of two star 5/2-antiprisms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ N.W. Johnson: Geometries and Transformations, (2018) ISBN 978-1-107-10340-5 Chapter 11: Finite symmetry groups, 11.3 Pyramids, Prisms, and Antiprisms, Figure 11.3c
  2. ^ a b c Ericson, Thomas; Zinoviev, Victor (2001). "Codes in dimension n = 3". Codes on Euclidean Spheres. North-Holland Mathematical Library. Vol. 63. pp. 67–106. doi:10.1016/S0924-6509(01)80048-9. ISBN 9780444503299.
  3. ^ Beall, Herbert; Gaines, Donald F. (2003). "Boron Hydrides". Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology. pp. 301–316. doi:10.1016/B0-12-227410-5/00073-9. ISBN 9780122274107.
  4. ^ “Boron Hydride Chemistry” (E. L. Muetterties, ed.), Academic Press, New York
  5. ^ Wade, K. (1971). "The structural significance of the number of skeletal bonding electron-pairs in carboranes, the higher boranes and borane anions, and various transition-metal carbonyl cluster compounds". J. Chem. Soc. D. 1971 (15): 792–793. doi:10.1039/C29710000792.
  6. ^ Meyer, Gerd (2014). "Symbiosis of Intermetallic and Salt". Including Actinides. Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths. Vol. 45. pp. 111–178. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-63256-2.00264-3. ISBN 9780444632562.
  7. ^ Bartolomé, Elena; Arauzo, Ana; Luzón, Javier; Bartolomé, Juan; Bartolomé, Fernando (2017). Magnetic Relaxation of Lanthanide-Based Molecular Magnets. Handbook of Magnetic Materials. Vol. 26. pp. 1–289. doi:10.1016/bs.hmm.2017.09.002. ISBN 9780444639271.


  • Anthony Pugh (1976). Polyhedra: A visual approach. California: University of California Press Berkeley. ISBN 0-520-03056-7. Chapter 2: Archimedean polyhedra, prisms and antiprisms

External links[edit]