It's the ideal shape for packing and stacking, but when one supermarket put tomato soup in cube-shaped tin cans, no-one bought it.
Perhaps this highly practical shape is just a little bit too perfect for mainstream taste.
Marcus du Sautoy turns to the pyramid.
Egyptian mausoleums, the entrance to the Louvre in Paris and tetrahedral tea bags are well known, but this rather hierarchical shape is remarkably rare in the manufactured world.
Look under the microscope however, and they're everywhere.
Nature has no problem making them: raindrops are spheres not tears.
But building a perfect sphere remains a challenge for architects and engineers.
This week's shape is not only good enough to eat, it's the most important shape in maths today.
Marcus du Sautoy explores why it's a good shape for cooking dough, cracking codes and understanding space.
Could the universe have a hole in the middle?
|05 LAST||The Blob||20040928||20050923|
Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy discovers that thanks to computer technology, cartoon characters, curvy cars, and blobby buildings are closely related.