Changing the position of the solid below gives different views of its shape. Three of these views generate letters of the alphabet and, with them, it's possible to make a word in english. Rotate the solid (click and drag) and try to find this word! The alphabet below shows the shapes of each letter that can appear in the solid. Be careful: the letters H and I have the same shape. The same occurs with the letters N and Z and with the letters M and W. The letters must be given in the correct order!


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z


Please, check if your navigator is blocking the access to the applet. To install the JAVA language in your computer, please, access the link http://www.java.com/.

Choose the type of game:

Words in English    Words in Spanish    Words in Portuguese


SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

BACH, ESCHER AND GÖDEL

This kind of solid was idealized by Douglas R. Hofstadter to illustrate the cover of his book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.

Bach, Escher e Gödel


EXPANDING THE IDEA: THE DIGITAL SUNDIAL

Are there objects whose projections include more than 3 letters? The answer is yes! In fact, there is a theorem from the fractal theory that guarantees the following: if you choose a collection of plane pictures (not necessarily letters), there is an object whose projections include the pictures you've specified (except for a set of measure zero).

This theorem is the starting point for the concept of a digital sundial, that is, a clock which displays the time in numbers using only shadows and the light from the sun. Like the conventional sundial, the device contains no moving parts and it does not use electricity. The digits change as the sun moves across the sky.

The idea started in the late 80s (with the mathematician Kenneth Falconer) and, in 1991, it was presented by Ian Stewart in the Scientific American magazine (August edition). A few years later, in 1994, three Germans, Hans Scharstein, Daniel Scharstein and Werner Krotz-Vogel, built the model shown below. The patent may be found here. A portable version of this digital sundial is being commercialized by the company Digital Sundial.

Digital sundial     Portable digital sundial

THE CORK PLUG

The object below has three holes in the form of a square, a circle and a triangle. The circle's diameter and the square's side have the same length. The triangle is isosceles and its base and height have lengths equal to the length of the square's side. Is it possible to build a three dimensional solid that can stopper tape these three holes? Click here to see an answer!

The cork plug


ALPHABOT

Designed by Nikita Pashenkov from The Media Lab at MIT, the alphabot is a virtual robot that can take the shape of any letter of our alphabet. It was built to participate in a typography competition in the Tokyo Type Director's Club in November 2000. Click here or on one of the pictures below to access a JAVA version of alphabot.

Alphabot     Alphabot




Creative Commons License

Responsible: Humberto José Bortolossi.
Idealization and Programming: Rogério Vaz de Almeida Jr. and Humberto José Bortolossi.
Revision: Carlos Eduardo Castańo Ferreira, Igor Bromonschenkel Brandăo, Anne Michelle Dysman Gomes and Luis Antonio Brasil Kowada.
Graphical library: JavaView – Interactive 3D Geometry and Visualization.
The Trip-Lets VRML files were generated using a program written by Christ van Willigen.
Pictures: Wikipedia and Digital Sundial.

Problems? Suggestions? We give technical support! Please, contact us by the e-mail:
conteudosdigitais@im.uff.br.