Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and the University of Debrecen concluded that the Greek philosopher Plato was right in arguing that the earth is made of cubes. Writes about this ScienceDailt.
In fact, the question that scientists were looking for an answer was what forms would arise if a stone was broken into small pieces. To do this, they created a geometric model, which they cut randomly into two parts, and then more and more, and finally got a "pile of cubes".
“Plato's insight can be explained by the fact that the parts of a once single whole should be connected without gaps. And the only polyhedron that connects without gaps is a cube,”the description of the study says.
In order to test the correctness of their mathematical model, scientists have measured many different stones in nature. Some of them were chipped off by man, others were weathered by the forces of nature, but in any case, on average, their particles were cubes.
At the same time, they found a place on Earth where the "Plato's rule" is violated. This is the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland with its tall, vertical columns. Scientists explain this anomaly by the unusual cooling process of basalt.
“Nine times out of ten, if a rock breaks, shrinks, or shears - and these forces usually happen together - you end up with shards that are, on average, cubic. Only if you are under stress, you get something different. The earth just doesn't do it often,”the researchers note.
Essentially, scientists have answered the question of what shapes are created when stones are broken into pieces. It is noteworthy that they found that the basic mathematical hypothesis unites geological processes not only on Earth, but also around the solar system.
"The solar system is filled with ice and rocks that continually collide with each other," the article says.