Ternary 20- Sided Die

20-sided_main

Upon first glance the object above may seem like an artifact they pulled out of the Roswell crash but it is actually an exuberantly complex die.The model above represents a 20-sided die that is numbered in base 3 math, oppose to our more familiar base 10 system.

ternary

So how do I read this Damn thing?

The numbering system on the die is understandably unfamiliar but after you are exposed to how this die works you might have more of an appreciation for numbers in general!

Today we use base 10 math, meaning that we require 10 symbols to fully develop all of the quantities we can conceive. Starting at 0 then go to 9, when we get to 10 we have to start over counting with the addition of another digit. Base 3 math means we can represent all the quantities out there but only use 3 symbols. In the case of this die there can be 0,1,or 2 grooves on the three sides. Each side represents a digit just like in our base 10 system. We are familiar with the 1’s,10’s and 100’s place, in this system there is a 1’s, 3’s, and 9’s place.The indexing circle gives you a point of reference on each triangle that lets determine which numeral place each side represents. Starting at the dot and going clockwise there is the 1’s side then the 3’s side and finally the 9’s side.

 

example

The following side can be read in the following manner. Starting at the dot we have 1 notch on the 1’s side, 2 notches on the 3’s side, and 1 notch on the 9’s side.

1*(notches on side 1 side)+3*(notches on 3 side)+9*(notches on 9 side)

1*(1)+3*(2)+9*(1)=16

 

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