The 4x4x4 cube is the natural setting
for the finite version of the Klein quadric
and the eight "heptads" discussed by
Conwell in 1910.
As R. Shaw remarked in 1995,
"The situation is indeed quite pleasing."
The 4x4x4 cube is the natural setting
for the finite version of the Klein quadric
and the eight "heptads" discussed by
Conwell in 1910.
As R. Shaw remarked in 1995,
"The situation is indeed quite pleasing."
In the recent science fiction film "Arrival," Amy Adams portrays
a linguist, Louise Banks, who must learn to translate the language of
aliens ("Heptapods") who have just arrived in their spaceships.
The point of this tale seems to have something to do with Banks
learning, along with the aliens' language, their skill of seeing into
the future.
Louise Banks wannabes might enjoy the works of one
Metod Saniga, who thinks that finite geometry might have
something to do with perceptions of time.
See Metod Saniga, “Algebraic Geometry: A Tool for Resolving
the Enigma of Time?”, in R. Buccheri, V. Di Gesù and M. Saniga (eds.),
Studies on the Structure of Time: From Physics to Psycho(patho)logy,
Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York, 2000, pp. 137–166.
Available online at www.ta3.sk/~msaniga/pub/ftp/mathpsych.pdf .
Although I share an interest in finite geometry with Saniga —
see, for instance, his remarks on Conwell heptads in the previous post
and my own remarks in yesterday's post "Schoolgirls and Heptads" —
I do not endorse his temporal speculations.
A Feb. 12 note in the "talk" section of the Wikipedia article
"Kirkman's schoolgirl problem" —
The illustration above was replaced by a new section in the article,
titled "Galois geometry."
The new section improves the article by giving it greater depth.
For related material, see Conwell Heptads in this journal
(or, more generally, Conwell) and a 1985 note citing Conwell's work.
For a concise historical summary of the interplay between
the geometry of an 8set and that of a 16set that is
involved in the the Miracle Octad Generator approach
to the large Mathieu group M_{24}, see Section 2 of …
Alan R. Prince
A near projective plane of order 6 (pp. 97105)
Innovations in Incidence Geometry
Volume 13 (Spring/Fall 2013).
This interplay, notably discussed by Conwell and
by Edge, involves spreads and Conwell's heptads .
Update, morning of the following day (7:07 ET) — related material:
See also "56 spreads" in this journal.
“Charting the Real FourQubit Pauli Group
via Ovoids of a Hyperbolic Quadric of PG(7,2),”
by Metod Saniga, Péter Lévay and Petr Pracna,
arXiv:1202.2973v2 [mathph] 26 Jun 2012 —
P. 4— “It was found that Q ^{+}(5,2) (the Klein quadric)
has, up to isomorphism, a unique one — also known,
after its discoverer, as a Conwell heptad [18].
The set of 28 points lying off Q ^{+}(5,2) comprises
eight such heptads, any two having exactly one
point in common.”
P. 11— “This split reminds us of a similar split of
63 points of PG(5,2) into 35/28 points lying on/off
a Klein quadric Q ^{+}(5,2).”
[18] G. M. Conwell, Ann. Math. 11 (1910) 60–76
A similar split occurs in yesterday’s Kummer Varieties post.
See the 63 = 28 + 35 vectors of R^{8} discussed there.
For more about Conwell heptads, see The Klein Correspondence,
Penrose SpaceTime, and a Finite Model.
For my own remarks on the date of the above arXiv paper
by Saniga et. al., click on the image below —
Walter Gropius
Edge on Heptads
Part I: Dye on Edge “Introduction: — “Partitions and Their Stabilizers for Line Complexes and Quadrics,” by R.H. Dye, Annali di Matematica Pura ed Applicata, Volume 114, Number 1, December 1977, pp. 173194 Part II: Edge on Heptads “The Geometry of the Linear Fractional Group LF(4,2),” by W.L. Edge, Proc. London Math Soc., Volume s34, No. 1, 1954, pp. 317342. See the historical remarks on the first page. Note added by Edge in proof: 
Solomon's Cube
continued
"There is a book… called A Fellow of Trinity, one of series dealing with what is supposed to be Cambridge college life…. There are two heroes, a primary hero called Flowers, who is almost wholly good, and a secondary hero, a much weaker vessel, called Brown. Flowers and Brown find many dangers in university life, but the worst is a gambling saloon in Chesterton run by the Misses Bellenden, two fascinating but extremely wicked young ladies. Flowers survives all these troubles, is Second Wrangler and Senior Classic, and succeeds automatically to a Fellowship (as I suppose he would have done then). Brown succumbs, ruins his parents, takes to drink, is saved from delirium tremens during a thunderstorm only by the prayers of the Junior Dean, has much difficulty in obtaining even an Ordinary Degree, and ultimately becomes a missionary. The friendship is not shattered by these unhappy events, and Flowers's thoughts stray to Brown, with affectionate pity, as he drinks port and eats walnuts for the first time in Senior Combination Room."
— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology
"The Solomon Key is the working title of an unreleased novel in progress by American author Dan Brown. The Solomon Key will be the third book involving the character of the Harvard professor Robert Langdon, of which the first two were Angels & Demons (2000) and The Da Vinci Code (2003)." —Wikipedia
"One has O^{+}(6) ≅ S_{8}, the symmetric group of order 8! …."
— "Siegel Modular Forms and Finite Symplectic Groups," by Francesco Dalla Piazza and Bert van Geemen, May 5, 2008, preprint.
"The complete projective group of collineations and dualities of the [projective] 3space is shown to be of order [in modern notation] 8! …. To every transformation of the 3space there corresponds a transformation of the [projective] 5space. In the 5space, there are determined 8 sets of 7 points each, 'heptads' …."
— George M. Conwell, "The 3space PG(3, 2) and Its Group," The Annals of Mathematics, Second Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jan., 1910), pp. 6076
"It must be remarked that these 8 heptads are the key to an elegant proof…."
— Philippe Cara, "RWPRI Geometries for the Alternating Group A_{8}," in Finite Geometries: Proceedings of the Fourth Isle of Thorns Conference (July 1621, 2000), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001, ed. Aart Blokhuis, James W. P. Hirschfeld, Dieter Jungnickel, and Joseph A. Thas, pp. 6197
Tina Fey to Steve Martin
at the Oscars:
"Oh, Steve, no one wants
to hear about our religion
… that we made up."
From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:
… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer… A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination. 
Superficially the young men's philosophy seems to resemble what Wikipedia calls "pantheistic solipsism"– noting, however, that "This article has multiple issues."
As, indeed, does pantheistic solipsism– a philosophy (properly called "eschatological pantheistic multipleego solipsism") devised, with tongue in cheek, by sciencefiction writer Robert A. Heinlein.
Despite their preoccupation with solipsism, Heinlein and Stevens point, each in his own poetic way, to a highly nonsolipsistic topic from pure mathematics that is, unlike the religion of Martin and Fey, not made up– namely, the properties of space.
"Sharpie, we have condensed six dimensions into four, then we either work by analogy into six, or we have to use math that apparently nobody but Jake and my cousin Ed understands. Unless you can think of some way to project six dimensions into three– you seem to be smart at such projections."
I closed my eyes and thought hard. "Zebbie, I don't think it can be done. Maybe Escher could have done it."
A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:
For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamondfaceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought: The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...
The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,
Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of halfrisen day.
The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
point A
In a perspective that begins again
At B: the origin of the mango's rind.
(Collected Poems, 528)

Stevens's rock is associated with empty space, a concept that suggests "nothingness" to one literary critic:
B. J. Leggett, "Stevens's Late Poetry" in The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens— On the poem "The Rock":"… the barren rock of the title is Stevens's symbol for the nothingness that underlies all existence, 'That in which space itself is contained'…. Its subject is its speaker's sense of nothingness and his need to be cured of it."
More positively…
Space is, of course, also a topic
in pure mathematics…
For instance, the 6dimensional
affine space (or the corresponding
5dimensional projective space)
over the twoelement Galois field
can be viewed as an illustration of
Stevens's metaphor in "The Rock."
Cara:
Here the 6dimensional affine
space contains the 63 points
of PG(5, 2), plus the origin, and
the 3dimensional affine
space contains as its 8 points
Conwell's eight "heptads," as in
Generating the Octad Generator.
Part II: A Corresponding Finite Model
G. M. Conwell, The 3space PG(3,2) and its group, Ann. of Math. 11, 6076.
Conwell discusses the quadric, and the related Klein correspondence, in detail. This is noted in a more recent paper by Philippe Cara:
Related material:
The 64 points of this affine space may in turn be viewed as the 64 hexagrams of the Classic of Transformation, China's I Ching.
There is a natural correspondence between the 64 hexagrams and the 64 subcubes of a 4x4x4 cube. This correspondence leads to a natural way to generate the affine group AGL(6,2). This may in turn be viewed as a group of over a trillion natural transformations of the 64 hexagrams.
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