What is the Value of Geometric Models to Understand Matter?

Françoise Monnoyeur-Broitman


This article analyzes the value of geometric models to understand matter with the examples of the Platonic model for the primary four elements (fire, air, water, and earth) and the models of carbon atomic structures in the new science of crystallography. How the geometry of these models is built in order to discover the properties of matter is explained: movement and stability for the primary elements, and hardness, softness and elasticity for the carbon atoms. These geometric models appear to have a double quality: firstly, they exhibit visually the scientific properties of matter, and secondly they give us the possibility to visualize its whole nature. Geometrical models appear to be the expression of the mind in the understanding of physical matter.


geometric models; Plato; crystallography; visual representation; visualization; Euclidean geometry; properties of matter

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ISSN: 2281-3209                DOI Prefix: 10.7408

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