The Matrix —
The Grid —
^{ Picturing the Witt Construction —}
"Read something that means something." — New Yorker ad
The Matrix —
The Grid —
^{ Picturing the Witt Construction —}
"Read something that means something." — New Yorker ad
"Studies of spin-½ theories in the framework of projective geometry
have been undertaken before." — Y. Jack Ng and H. van Dam,
February 20, 2009
For one such framework,* see posts from that same date
four years earlier — February 20, 2005.
* A 4×4 array. See the 1977, 1978, and 1986 versions by
Steven H. Cullinane, the 1987 version by R. T. Curtis, and
the 1988 Conway-Sloane version illustrated below —
Cullinane, 1977
Cullinane, 1978
Cullinane, 1986
Curtis, 1987
Update of 10:42 PM ET on Sunday, June 19, 2016 —
The above images are precursors to …
Conway and Sloane, 1988
Update of 10 AM ET Sept. 16, 2016 — The excerpt from the
1977 "Diamond Theory" article was added above.
The previous post deals in part with a figure from the 1988 book
Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups , by J. H. Conway and
N. J. A. Sloane.
Siobhan Roberts recently wrote a book about the first of these
authors, Conway. I just discovered that last fall she also had an
article about the second author, Sloane, published:
"How to Build a Search Engine for Mathematics,"
Nautilus , Oct 22, 2015.
Meanwhile, in this journal …
Log24 on that same date, Oct. 22, 2015 —
Roberts's remarks on Conway and later on Sloane are perhaps
examples of subjective quality, as opposed to the objective quality
sought, if not found, by Alexander, and exemplified by the
above bijection discussed here last October.
Judith Shulevitz in The New York Times
on Sunday, July 18, 2010
(quoted here Aug. 15, 2010) —
“What would an organic Christian Sabbath look like today?”
The 2015 German edition of Beautiful Mathematics ,
a 2011 Mathematical Association of America (MAA) book,
was retitled Mathematische Appetithäppchen —
Mathematical Appetizers . The German edition mentions
the author's source, omitted in the original American edition,
for his section 5.17, "A Group of Operations" (in German,
5.17, "Eine Gruppe von Operationen") —
Mathematische Appetithäppchen: Autor: Erickson, Martin —
"Weitere Informationen zu diesem Themenkreis finden sich |
That source was a document that has been on the Web
since 2002. The document was submitted to the MAA
in 1984 but was rejected. The German edition omits the
document's title, and describes it as merely a source for
"further information on this subject area."
The title of the document, "Binary Coordinate Systems,"
is highly relevant to figure 11.16c on page 312 of a book
published four years after the document was written: the
1988 first edition of Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups ,
by J. H. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane —
A passage from the 1984 document —
From the MacTutor biography of Otto Neugebauer:
“… two projects which would be among the most important
contributions anyone has made to mathematics. He persuaded
Springer-Verlag to publish a journal reviewing all mathematical
publications, which would complement their reviewing journals
in other topics. In 1931 the first issue of Zentralblatt für Matematik
appeared, edited by Neugebauer.” [Mathematical Reviews was
the other project.]
Neugebauer appeared in Sunday morning’s post In Nomine Patris .
A review from Zentralblatt appeared in the Story Creep link from
this morning’s post Mysterious Correspondences.
See also a Log24 post on this subject from Dec. 14, 2013,
especially (scroll down) the update of March 9, 2014.
Related material on the Turyn-Curtis construction
from the University of Cambridge —
— Slide by “Dr. Parker” — Apparently Richard A. Parker —
Lecture 4, “Discovering M_{24},” in slides for lectures 1-8 from lectures
at Cambridge in 2010-2011 on “Sporadic and Related Groups.”
See also the Parker lectures of 2012-2013 on the same topic.
A third construction of Curtis’s 35 4×6 1976 MOG arrays would use
Cullinane’s analysis of the 4×4 subarrays’ affine and projective structure,
and point out the fact that Conwell’s 1910 correspondence of the 35
4+4-partitions of an 8-set with the 35 lines of the projective 3-space
over the 2-element field, PG(3, 2), is essentially the same correspondence
as that constituting Curtis’s 1976 MOG.
See The Diamond Theorem, Finite Relativity, Galois Space,
Generating the Octad Generator, and The Klein Correspondence.
Update of March 22-March 23 —
Adding together as (0,1)-matrices over GF(2) the black parts (black
squares as 1’s, all other squares as 0’s) of the 35 4×6 arrays of the 1976
Curtis MOG would then reveal* the symmetric role played in octads
by what Curtis called the heavy brick , and so reveal also the action of
S_{3} on the three Curtis bricks that leaves invariant the set of all 759
octads of the S(5, 8, 24) constructed from the 35 MOG arrays. For more
details of this “by-hand” construction, see Geometry of the 4×4 Square.
For the mathematical properties of the S(5, 8, 24), it is convenient to
have a separate construction, not by hand (such as Turyn’s), of the
extended binary Golay code. See the Brouwer preprint quoted above.
* “Then a miracle occurs,” as in the classic 1977 Sidney Harris cartoon.
Illustration of array addition from March 23 —
The sixteen-dot square array in yesterday’s noon post suggests
the following remarks.
“This is the relativity problem: to fix objectively a class of
equivalent coordinatizations and to ascertain the group of
transformations S mediating between them.”
— Hermann Weyl, The Classical Groups ,
Princeton University Press, 1946, p. 16
The Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977—
The 1977 matrix Q is echoed in the following from 2002—
A different representation of Cullinane’s 1977 square model of the
16-point affine geometry over the two-element Galois field GF(2)
is supplied by Conway and Sloane in Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups
(first published in 1988) :
Here a, b, c, d are basis vectors in the vector 4-space over GF(2).
(For a 1979 version of this vector space, see AMS Abstract 79T-A37.)
See also a 2011 publication of the Mathematical Association of America —
Odin's Jewel
Jim Holt, the author of remarks in yesterday's
Saturday evening post—
"It turns out that the Kyoto school of Buddhism
makes Heidegger seem like Rush Limbaugh—
it’s so rarified, I’ve never been able to
understand it at all. I’ve been knocking my head
against it for years."
— Vanity Fair Daily , July 16, 2012
Backstory: Odin + Jewel in this journal.
See also Odin on the Kyoto school —
For another version of Odin's jewel, see Log24
on the date— July 16, 2012— that Holt's Vanity Fair
remarks were published. Scroll to the bottom of the
"Mapping Problem continued" post for an instance of
the Galois tesseract —
The title, which I dislike, is taken from a 2011 publication
of the MAA, also sold by Cambridge University Press.
Some material relevant to the title adjective:
"For those who have learned something of higher mathematics, nothing could be more natural than to use the word 'beautiful' in connection with it. Mathematical beauty, like the beauty of, say, a late Beethoven quartet, arises from a combination of strangeness and inevitability. Simply defined abstractions disclose hidden quirks and complexities. Seemingly unrelated structures turn out to have mysterious correspondences. Uncanny patterns emerge, and they remain uncanny even after being underwritten by the rigor of logic."— Jim Holt, opening of a book review in the Dec. 5, 2013, issue of The New York Review of Books |
Some relevant links—
The above list was updated on Jan. 31, 2014, to include the
"Strangeness" and "Hidden quirks" links. See also a post of
Jan. 31, 2014.
Update of March 9, 2014 —
The link "Simply defined abstractions" is to the construction of the Steiner
system S(5, 8, 24) described by R. T. Curtis in his 1976 paper defining the
Miracle Octad Generator. It should be noted that this construction is due
to Richard J. Turyn, in a 1967 Sylvania research report. (See Emily Jennings's
talk of 1 Nov. 2012.) Compare the Curtis construction, written in 1974,
with the Turyn construction of 1967 as described in Sphere Packings, Lattices
and Groups , by J. H. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane (first published in 1988).
Best vs. Bester
The previous post ended with a reference mentioning Rosenhain.
For a recent application of Rosenhain's work, see
Desargues via Rosenhain (April 1, 2013).
From the next day, April 2, 2013:
"The proof of Desargues' theorem of projective geometry
comes as close as a proof can to the Zen ideal.
It can be summarized in two words: 'I see!' "
– Gian-Carlo Rota in Indiscrete Thoughts (1997)
Also in that book, originally from a review in Advances in Mathematics ,
Vol. 84, Number 1, Nov. 1990, p. 136:
See, too, in the Conway-Sloane book, the Galois tesseract …
and, in this journal, Geometry for Jews and The Deceivers , by Bester.
The finite (i.e., Galois) field GF(16),
according to J. J. Seidel in 1974—
The same field according to Steven H. Cullinane in 1986,
in its guise as the affine 4-space over GF(2)—
The same field, again disguised as an affine 4-space,
according to John H. Conway and N.J.A. Sloane in
Sphere Packings, Lattices, and Groups , first published in 1988—
The above figure by Conway and Sloane summarizes, using
a 4×4 array, the additive vector-space structure of the finite
field GF(16).
This structure embodies what in Euclidean space is called
the parallelogram rule for vector addition—
(Thanks to June Lester for the 3D (uvw) part of the above figure.)
For the transition from this colored Euclidean hypercube
(used above to illustrate the parallelogram rule) to the
4×4 Galois space (illustrated by Cullinane in 1979 and
Conway and Sloane in 1988— or later… I do not have
their book’s first edition), see Diamond Theory in 1937,
Vertex Adjacency in a Tesseract and in a 4×4 Array,
Spaces as Hypercubes, and The Galois Tesseract.
For some related narrative, see tesseract in this journal.
(This post has been added to finitegeometry.org.)
Update of August 9, 2013—
Coordinates for hypercube vertices derived from the
parallelogram rule in four dimensions were better
illustrated by Jürgen Köller in a web page archived in 2002.
Update of August 13, 2013—
The four basis vectors in the 2002 Köller hypercube figure
are also visible at the bottom of the hypercube figure on
page 7 of “Diamond Theory,” excerpts from a 1976 preprint
in Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977.
A predecessor: Coxeter’s 1950 hypercube figure from
“Self-Dual Configurations and Regular Graphs.”
The three parts of the figure in today's earlier post "Defining Form"—
— share the same vector-space structure:
0 | c | d | c + d |
a | a + c | a + d | a + c + d |
b | b + c | b + d | b + c + d |
a + b | a + b + c | a + b + d | a + b + c + d |
(This vector-space a b c d diagram is from Chapter 11 of
Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups , by John Horton
Conway and N. J. A. Sloane, first published by Springer
in 1988.)
The fact that any 4×4 array embodies such a structure was implicit in
the diamond theorem (February 1979). Any 4×4 array, regarded as
a model of the finite geometry AG(4, 2), may be called a Galois tesseract.
(So called because of the Galois geometry involved, and because the
16 cells of a 4×4 array with opposite edges identified have the same
adjacency pattern as the 16 vertices of a tesseract (see, for instance,
Coxeter's 1950 "Self-Dual Configurations and Regular Graphs," figures
5 and 6).)
A 1982 discussion of a more abstract form of AG(4, 2):
Source:
The above 1982 remarks by Brouwer may or may not have influenced
the drawing of the above 1988 Conway-Sloane diagram.
Another approach to the square-to-triangle
mapping problem (see also previous post)—
For the square model referred to in the above picture, see (for instance)
Coordinates for the 16 points in the triangular arrays
of the corresponding affine space may be deduced
from the patterns in the projective-hyperplanes array above.
This should solve the inverse problem of mapping,
in a natural way, the triangular array of 16 points
to the square array of 16 points.
Update of 9:35 AM ET July 16, 2012:
Note that the square model's 15 hyperplanes S
and the triangular model's 15 hyperplanes T —
— share the following vector-space structure —
0 | c | d | c + d |
a | a + c | a + d | a + c + d |
b | b + c | b + d | b + c + d |
a + b | a + b + c | a + b + d | a + b + c + d |
(This vector-space a b c d diagram is from
Chapter 11 of Sphere Packings, Lattices
and Groups , by John Horton Conway and
N. J. A. Sloane, first published by Springer
in 1988.)
A post of September 1, The Galois Tesseract, noted that the interplay
of algebraic and geometric properties within the 4×4 array that forms
two-thirds of the Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) may first have
been described by Cullinane (AMS abstract 79T-A37, Notices , Feb. 1979).
Here is some supporting material—
The passage from Carmichael above emphasizes the importance of
the 4×4 square within the MOG.
The passage from Conway and Sloane, in a book whose first edition
was published in 1988, makes explicit the structure of the MOG's
4×4 square as the affine 4-space over the 2-element Galois field.
The passage from Curtis (1974, published in 1976) describes 35 sets
of four "special tetrads" within the 4×4 square of the MOG. These
correspond to the 35 sets of four parallel 4-point affine planes within
the square. Curtis, however, in 1976 makes no mention of the affine
structure, characterizing his 140 "special tetrads" rather by the parity
of their intersections with the square's rows and columns.
The affine structure appears in the 1979 abstract mentioned above—
The "35 structures" of the abstract were listed, with an application to
Latin-square orthogonality, in a note from December 1978—
See also a 1987 article by R. T. Curtis—
Further elementary techniques using the miracle octad generator, by R. T. Curtis. Abstract:
“In this paper we describe various techniques, some of which are already used by devotees of the art, which relate certain maximal subgroups of the Mathieu group M_{24}, as seen in the MOG, to matrix groups over finite fields. We hope to bring out the wealth of algebraic structure* underlying the device and to enable the reader to move freely between these matrices and permutations. Perhaps the MOG was mis-named as simply an ‘octad generator’; in this paper we intend to show that it is in reality a natural diagram of the binary Golay code.”
(Received July 20 1987)
– Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (Series 2) (1989), 32: 345-353
* For instance:
Update of Sept. 4— This post is now a page at finitegeometry.org.
A Google search today for material on the Web that puts the diamond theorem
in context yielded a satisfyingly complete list. (See the first 21 results.)
(Customization based on signed-out search activity was disabled.)
The same search limited to results from only the past month yielded,
in addition, the following—
This turns out to be a document by one Richard Evan Schwartz,
Chancellor's Professor of Mathematics at Brown University.
Pages 12-14 of the document, which is untitled, undated, and
unsigned, discuss the finite-geometry background of the R.T.
Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) . As today's earlier search indicates,
this is closely related to the diamond theorem. The section relating
the geometry to the MOG is titled "The MOG and Projective Space."
It does not mention my own work.
See Schwartz's page 12, page 13, and page 14.
Compare to the web pages from today's earlier search.
There are no references at the end of the Schwartz document,
but there is this at the beginning—
These are some notes on error correcting codes. Two good sources for
this material are
• From Error Correcting Codes through Sphere Packings to Simple Groups ,
by Thomas Thompson.
• Sphere Packings, Lattices, and Simple Groups by J. H. Conway and N.
Sloane
Planet Math (on the internet) also some information.
It seems clear that these inadequate remarks by Schwartz on his sources
can and should be expanded.
A recently created Wikipedia article says that "The Miracle Octad Generator [MOG] is an array of coordinates, arranged in four rows and six columns, capable of describing any point in 24-dimensional space…." (Clearly any array with 24 parts is so capable.) The article ignores the fact that the MOG, as defined by R.T. Curtis in 1976, is not an array of coordinates, but rather a picture of a correspondence between two sets, each containing 35 structures. (As a later commentator has remarked, this correspondence is a well-known one that preserves a certain incidence property. See Eightfold Geometry.)
From the 1976 paper defining the MOG—
"There is a correspondence between the two systems of 35 groups, which is illustrated in Fig. 4 (the MOG or Miracle Octad Generator)." —R.T. Curtis, "A New Combinatorial Approach to M_{24}," Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (1976), 79: 25-42
Curtis's 1976 Fig. 4. (The MOG.)
The Wikipedia article, like a similar article at PlanetMath, is based on a different definition, from a book first published in 1988—
I have not seen the 1973 Curtis paper, so I do not know whether it uses the 35-sets correspondence definition or the 6×4 array definition. The remarks of Conway and Sloane on page 312 of the 1998 edition of their book about "Curtis's original way of finding octads in the MOG [Cur2]" indicate that the correspondence definition was the one Curtis used in 1973—
Here the picture of "the 35 standard sextets of the MOG"
is very like (modulo a reflection) Curtis's 1976 picture
of the MOG as a correspondence between two 35-sets.
A later paper by Curtis does use the array definition. See "Further Elementary Techniques Using the Miracle Octad Generator," Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (1989) 32, 345-353.
The array definition is better suited to Conway's use of his hexacode to describe octads, but it obscures the close connection of the MOG with finite geometry. That connection, apparent in the phrases "vector space structure in the standard square" and "parallel 2-spaces" (Conway and Sloane, third ed., p. 312, illustrated above), was not discussed in the 1976 Curtis paper. See my own page on the MOG at finitegeometry.org.
For St. Andrew’s Day
“The miraculous enters…. When we investigate these problems, some fantastic things happen….”
— John H. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane, Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups, preface to first edition (1988)
The remarkable Mathieu group M_{24}, a group of permutations on 24 elements, may be studied by picturing its action on three interchangeable 8-element “octads,” as in the “Miracle Octad Generator” of R. T. Curtis.
A picture of the Miracle Octad Generator, with my comments, is available online.
Related material:
Mathematics and Narrative.
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