" is a geometric
sculpture created by George W. Hart
. Composed of recycled CDs
strung together, it hangs in the atrium
of the computer science
building at the University of California, Berkley
. The sculpture is in the form of a propellor
icosahedron, a polyhedron
with 20 equilateral triangles
and 60 quadrilaterals
This work of art is unique because the geometric form was discovered through an entirely new operation invented by Hart. While programming an application that incorporated a new notation system for describing polyhedra, Hart tried to come up with an operation that could be performed on polyhedra to modify them which hadn't been described before. He invented the "propellor" operation, which functions by spreading the faces of the subject polyhedron apart and surrounding each face with quadrilaterals. Using this new operation, he created the form for "Rainbow Bits". The sculpture has one CD at each vertex, three CDs along shorter edges, and five CDs along longer edges.
Information summarized from the Science News magazine article "Polyhedron Man" by Ivars Peterson.