Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Triangles, Spreads, Mathieu

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:04 PM

There are many approaches to constructing the Mathieu
group M24. The exercise below sketches an approach that
may or may not be new.


It is well-known that

 There are 56 triangles in an 8-set.
There are 56 spreads in PG(3,2).
The alternating group An is generated by 3-cycles.
The alternating group Ais isomorphic to GL(4,2).

Use the above facts, along with the correspondence
described below, to construct M24.

Some background —

A Log24 post of May 19, 2013, cites

Peter J. Cameron in a 1976 Cambridge U. Press
book — Parallelisms of Complete Designs .
See the proof of Theorem 3A.13 on pp. 59 and 60.

See also a Google search for “56 triangles” “56 spreads” Mathieu.

Update of October 31, 2019 — A related illustration —

Update of November 2, 2019 —

See also p. 284 of Geometry and Combinatorics:
Selected Works of J. J. Seidel
  (Academic Press, 1991).
That page is from a paper published in 1970.

Update of December 20, 2019 —

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