In mathematics, a Catalan solid, or Archimedean dual, is a dual polyhedron to an Archimedean solid. There are 13 Catalan solids. They are named for the Belgian mathematician, Eugène Catalan, who first described them in 1865.
The Catalan solids are all convex. They are face-transitive but not vertex-transitive. This is because the dual Archimedean solids are vertex-transitive and not face-transitive. Note that unlike Platonic solids and Archimedean solids, the faces of Catalan solids are not regular polygons. However, the vertex figures of Catalan solids are regular, and they have constant dihedral angles. Being face-transitive, Catalan solids are isohedra.
Two of the Catalan solids are chiral: the pentagonal icositetrahedron and the pentagonal hexecontahedron, dual to the chiral snub cube and snub dodecahedron. These each come in two enantiomorphs. Not counting the enantiomorphs, bipyramids, and trapezohedra, there are a total of 13 Catalan solids.
The Catalan solids, along with their dual Archimedean solids, can be grouped in those with tetrahedral, octahedral and icosahedral symmetry. For both octahedral and icosahedral symmetry there are six forms. The only Catalan solid with genuine tetrahedral symmetry is the triakis tetrahedron (dual of the truncated tetrahedron). Rhombic dodecahedron and tetrakis hexahedron have octahedral symmetry, but they can be colored to have only tetrahedral symmetry. Rectification and snub also exist with tetrahedral symmetry, but they are Platonic instead of Archimedean, so their duals are Platonic instead of Catalan. (They are shown with brown background in the table below.)
- Eugène Catalan Mémoire sur la Théorie des Polyèdres. J. l'École Polytechnique (Paris) 41, 1-71, 1865.
- Alan Holden Shapes, Space, and Symmetry. New York: Dover, 1991.
- Wenninger, Magnus (1983), Dual Models, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-54325-5, MR 0730208 (The thirteen semiregular convex polyhedra and their duals)
- Williams, Robert (1979). The Geometrical Foundation of Natural Structure: A Source Book of Design. Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-486-23729-X. (Section 3-9)
- Anthony Pugh (1976). Polyhedra: A visual approach. California: University of California Press Berkeley. ISBN 0-520-03056-7. Chapter 4: Duals of the Archimedean polyhedra, prisma and antiprisms