Pentagram and Structural Strength
Name: Kim M.
I am interested in the strength of the five-pointed
star. One of your "ask a scientist" answers suggested that this star was
the strongest fortress geometric figure. Where can I go to read more
about its history? Was it used to defend cities or castles or is its
defensive structure only theoretical?
From a structural point of view ( my field)
the triangle is the strongest element.
Buckminster Fuller used the triangle for his
dome. So , while I see a relation to the star,
I think, from the rest of your question that
your interest is for toward fortresses. There,
more factors are involved, as defensibility etc.
Issues beyond my knowledge.
Regarding where to find information, the
obvious answer is the Internet. I am finding
that while Google is normally my first choice,
Yahoo sometimes is a good lead for questions.
To my knowledge, 5 pointed stars were never used in castle designs.
(probably due to greatly reduced internal area for storing provisions) The
best place I can think to look for that information would be a study of
castles and other fortifications. (history, mostly)
As for it being a strong defensive structure, keep in mind that any attempt
to assault any area other than the tip of a point exposes attacking forces
to defence from two different walls, at radically different angles. Which
means the only way to attack the walls of such a castle are to expose
oneself to attack from all sides.
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Update: June 2012