Hill tetrahedron

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In geometry, the Hill tetrahedra are a family of space-filling tetrahedra. They were discovered in 1896 by M. J. M. Hill, a professor of mathematics at the University College London, who showed that they are scissor-congruent to a cube.


For every , let be three unit vectors with angle between every two of them. Define the Hill tetrahedron as follows:

A special case is the tetrahedron having all sides right triangles, two with sides (1,1,) and two with sides (1, and ). Ludwig Schläfli studied as a special case of the orthoscheme, and H. S. M. Coxeter called it the characteristic tetrahedron of the cubic spacefilling.


  • A cube can be tiled with 6 copies of .
  • Every can be dissected into three polytopes which can be reassembled into a prism.


In 1951 Hugo Hadwiger found the following n-dimensional generalization of Hill tetrahedra:

where vectors satisfy for all , and where . Hadwiger showed that all such simplices are scissor congruent to a hypercube.

See also[edit]


  • M. J. M. Hill, Determination of the volumes of certain species of tetrahedra without employment of the method of limits, Proc. London Math. Soc., 27 (1895–1896), 39–53.
  • H. Hadwiger, Hillsche Hypertetraeder, Gazeta Matemática (Lisboa), 12 (No. 50, 1951), 47–48.
  • H.S.M. Coxeter, Frieze patterns, Acta Arithmetica 18 (1971), 297–310.
  • E. Hertel, Zwei Kennzeichnungen der Hillschen Tetraeder, J. Geom. 71 (2001), no. 1–2, 68–77.
  • Greg N. Frederickson, Dissections: Plane and Fancy, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • N.J.A. Sloane, V.A. Vaishampayan, Generalizations of Schobi’s Tetrahedral Dissection, arXiv:0710.3857.

External links[edit]