Saturday, March 7, 2020

The “Octad Group” as Symmetries of the 4×4 Square

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:32 PM

From “Mathieu Moonshine and Symmetry Surfing” —

(Submitted on 29 Sep 2016, last revised 22 Jan 2018)
by Matthias R. Gaberdiel (1), Christoph A. Keller (2),
and Hynek Paul (1)

(1)  Institute for Theoretical Physics, ETH Zurich
(2)  Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich

https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.09302v2 —

“This presentation of the symmetry groups Gi  is
particularly well-adapted for the symmetry surfing
philosophy. In particular it is straightforward to
combine them into an overarching symmetry group G
by combining all the generators. The resulting group is
the so-called octad group

G = (Z2)4  A8 .

It can be described as a maximal subgroup of M24
obtained by the setwise stabilizer of a particular
‘reference octad’ in the Golay code, which we take
to be O= {3,5,6,9,15,19,23,24} ∈ 𝒢24. The octad
subgroup is of order 322560, and its index in M24
is 759, which is precisely the number of
different reference octads one can choose.”

This “octad group” is in fact the symmetry group of the affine 4-space over GF(2),
so described in 1979 in connection not with the Golay code but with the geometry
of the 4×4 square.* Its nature as an affine group acting on the Golay code was
known long before 1979, but its description as an affine group acting on
the 4×4 square may first have been published in connection with the
Cullinane diamond theorem and Abstract 79T-A37, “Symmetry invariance in a
diamond ring
,” by Steven H. Cullinane in Notices of the American Mathematical
, February 1979, pages A-193, 194.

* The Galois tesseract .

Update of March 15, 2020 —

Conway and Sloane on the “octad group” in 1993 —

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