Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday July 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:00 PM
Hard Core

(continued from yesterday)

Bertram Kostant, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at MIT, on an object discussed in this week’s New Yorker:

A word about E(8). In my opinion, and shared by others, E(8) is the most magnificent ‘object’ in all of mathematics. It is like a diamond with thousands of facets. Each facet offering a different view of its unbelievable intricate internal structure.”

Hermann Weyl on the hard core of objectivity:

“Perhaps the philosophically most relevant feature of modern science is the emergence of abstract symbolic structures as the hard core of objectivity behind– as Eddington puts it– the colorful tale of the subjective storyteller mind.” (Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science, Princeton, 1949, p. 237)

Steven H. Cullinane on the symmetries of a 4×4 array of points:

A Structure-Endowed Entity

“A guiding principle in modern mathematics is this lesson: Whenever you have to do with a structure-endowed entity S, try to determine its group of automorphisms, the group of those element-wise transformations which leave all structural relations undisturbed.  You can expect to gain a deep insight into the constitution of S in this way.”

— Hermann Weyl in Symmetry

Let us apply Weyl’s lesson to the following “structure-endowed entity.”

4x4 array of dots

What is the order of the resulting group of automorphisms?

The above group of
automorphisms plays
a role in what Weyl,
following Eddington,
  called a “colorful tale”–

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

This puzzle shows
that the 4×4 array can
also be viewed in
thousands of ways.

“You can make 322,560
pairs of patterns. Each
 pair pictures a different
symmetry of the underlying
16-point space.”

— Steven H. Cullinane,
July 17, 2008

For other parts of the tale,
see Ashay Dharwadker,
the Four-Color Theorem,
and Usenet Postings

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