Thursday, February 7, 2019

Geometry of the 4×4 Square: The Kummer Configuration

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

From the series of posts tagged Kummerhenge

A Wikipedia article relating the above 4×4 square to the work of Kummer —

A somewhat more interesting aspect of the geometry of the 4×4 square
is its relationship to the 4×6 grid underlying the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R. T. Curtis.  Hudson's 1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface
deals with the Kummer properties above and also foreshadows, without
explicitly describing, the finite-geometry properties of the 4×4 square as
a finite affine 4-space — properties that are of use in studying the Mathieu
group M24  with the aid of the MOG.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hudson and Finite Geometry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:00 AM

IMAGE- Geometry of the Six-Set, Steven H. Cullinane, April 23, 2013

The above four-element sets of black subsquares of a 4×4 square array 
are 15 of the 60 Göpel tetrads , and 20 of the 80 Rosenhain tetrads , defined
by R. W. H. T. Hudson in his 1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface .

Hudson did not  view these 35 tetrads as planes through the origin in a finite
affine 4-space (or, equivalently, as lines in the corresponding finite projective

In order to view them in this way, one can view the tetrads as derived,
via the 15 two-element subsets of a six-element set, from the 16 elements
of the binary Galois affine space pictured above at top left.

This space is formed by taking symmetric-difference (Galois binary)
sums of the 15 two-element subsets, and identifying any resulting four-
element (or, summing three disjoint two-element subsets, six-element)
subsets with their complements.  This process was described in my note
"The 2-subsets of a 6-set are the points of a PG(3,2)" of May 26, 1986.

The space was later described in the following —

IMAGE- Dolgachev and Keum, coordinatization of the 4x4 array in 'Birational Automorphisms of Quartic Hessian Surfaces,' AMS Transactions, 2002

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Complexity to Simplicity via Hudson and Rosenhain*

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:20 AM

'Desargues via Rosenhain'- April 1, 2013- The large Desargues configuration mapped canonically to the 4x4 square

*The Hudson of the title is the author of Kummer's Quartic Surface  (1905).
The Rosenhain of the title is the author for whom Hudson's 4×4 diagrams
of "Rosenhain tetrads" are named. For the "complexity to simplicity" of
the title, see Roger Fry in the previous post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Parametrizing the 4×4 Array

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 10:00 PM

The previous post discussed the parametrization of 
the 4×4 array as a vector 4-space over the 2-element 
Galois field GF(2).

The 4×4 array may also be parametrized by the symbol
0  along with the fifteen 2-subsets of a 6-set, as in Hudson's
1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface

Hudson in 1905:

These two ways of parametrizing the 4×4 array — as a finite space
and as an array of 2-element sets —  were related to one another
by Cullinane in 1986 in describing, in connection with the Curtis
"Miracle Octad Generator,"  what turned out to be 15 of Hudson's
1905 "Göpel tetrads":

A recap by Cullinane in 2013:

IMAGE- Geometry of the Six-Set, Steven H. Cullinane, April 23, 2013

Click images for further details.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Kummer at Noon

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The Hudson array mentioned above is as follows —

See also Whitehead and the
Relativity Problem
(Sept. 22).

For coordinatization  of a 4×4
array, see a note from 1986
in the Feb. 26 post Citation.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Landscape Art

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:18 AM

From "Six Significant Landscapes," by Wallace Stevens (1916) —

 Rationalists, wearing square hats,
 Think, in square rooms,
 Looking at the floor,
 Looking at the ceiling.
 They confine themselves
 To right-angled triangles.
 If they tried rhomboids,
 Cones, waving lines, ellipses —
 As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon —
 Rationalists would wear sombreros.

The mysterious 'ellipse of the half-moon'?

But see "cones, waving lines, ellipses" in Kummer's Quartic Surface 
(by R. W. H. T. Hudson, Cambridge University Press, 1905) and their
intimate connection with the geometry of the 4×4 square.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Rosenhain and Göpel Meet Kummer in Projective 3-Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:07 PM

For further details, see finitegeometry.org/sc/35/hudson.html.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Geometry Lesson

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

From "The Trials of Device" (April 24, 2017) —

Wittgenstein's pentagram and 4x4 'counting-pattern'

Pentagon with pentagram    

See also Wittgenstein in a search for "Ein Kampf " in this journal.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Plan 9 from Inner Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:00 AM

From Nanavira Thera, "Early Letters," in Seeking the Path —

"nine  possibilities arising quite naturally" —

Compare and contrast with Hudson's parametrization of the
4×4 square by means of 0 and the 15  2-subsets of a 6-set —

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Ugly Duck

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

"What of the night
That lights and dims the stars?
Do you know, Hans Christian,
Now that you see the night?"

— The concluding lines of
"Sonatina to Hans Christian,"
by Wallace Stevens
(in Harmonium  (second edition, 1931))

From "Mathmagic Land" (May 22, 2015)

Donald Duck with Pythagorean pentagram on hand

Donald in Mathmagic Land

From "The Trials of Device" (April 24, 2017)

Wittgenstein's pentagram and 4x4 'counting-pattern'

Pentagon with pentagram    

Friday, February 16, 2018

Two Kinds of Symmetry

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:29 PM

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Princeton in its Fall 2015 Letter 
revived "Beautiful Mathematics" as a title:

This ugly phrase was earlier used by Truman State University
professor Martin Erickson as a book title. See below. 

In the same IAS Fall 2015 Letter appear the following remarks
by Freeman Dyson —

". . . a special case of a much deeper connection that Ian Macdonald 
discovered between two kinds of symmetry which we call modular and affine.
The two kinds of symmetry were originally found in separate parts of science,
modular in pure mathematics and affine in physics. Modular symmetry is
displayed for everyone to see in the drawings of flying angels and devils
by the artist Maurits Escher. Escher understood the mathematics and got the
details right. Affine symmetry is displayed in the peculiar groupings of particles
created by physicists with high-energy accelerators. The mathematician
Robert Langlands was the first to conjecture a connection between these and
other kinds of symmetry. . . ." (Wikipedia link added.)

The adjective "modular"  might aptly be applied to . . .

The adjective "affine"  might aptly be applied to . . .

From 'Beautiful Mathematics,' by Martin Erickson, an excerpt on the Cullinane diamond theorem (with source not mentioned)

The geometry of the 4×4 square combines modular symmetry
(i.e., related to theta functions) with the affine symmetry above.

Hudson's 1905 discussion of modular symmetry (that of Rosenhain
tetrads and Göpel tetrads) in the 4×4 square used a parametrization
of that square by the digit 0 and the fifteen 2-subsets of a 6-set, but 
did not discuss the 4×4 square as an affine space.

For the connection of the 15 Kummer modular 2-subsets with the 16-
element affine space over the two-element Galois field GF(2), see my note
of May 26, 1986, "The 2-subsets of a 6-set are the points of a PG(3,2)" —

— and the affine structure in the 1979 AMS abstract
"Symmetry invariance in a diamond ring" —

For some historical background on the symmetry investigations by
Dyson and Macdonald, see Dyson's 1972 article "MIssed Opportunities."

For Macdonald's own  use of the words "modular" and "affine," see
Macdonald, I. G., "Affine Lie algebras and modular forms," 
Séminaire N. Bourbaki , Vol. 23 (1980-1981), Talk no. 577, pp. 258-276.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Touchstone

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:16 PM

From a paper by June Barrow-Green and Jeremy Gray on the history of geometry at Cambridge, 1863-1940

This post was suggested by the names* (if not the very abstruse
concepts ) in the Aug. 20, 2013, preprint "A Panoramic Overview
of Inter-universal Teichmuller Theory
," by S. Mochizuki.

* Specifically, Jacobi  and Kummer  (along with theta functions).
I do not know of any direct  connection between these names'
relevance to the writings of Mochizuki and their relevance
(via Hudson, 1905) to my own much more elementary studies of
the geometry of the 4×4 square.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Tale Unfolded

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:00 AM

A sketch, adapted tonight from Girl Scouts of Palo Alto

From the April 14 noon post High Concept

From the April 14 3 AM post Hudson and Finite Geometry

IMAGE- Geometry of the Six-Set, Steven H. Cullinane, April 23, 2013

From the April 24 evening post The Trials of Device

Pentagon with pentagram    

Note that Hudson's 1905 "unfolding" of even and odd puts even on top of
the square array, but my own 2013 unfolding above puts even at its left.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Trials of Device

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:28 PM

"A blank underlies the trials of device"
— Wallace Stevens, "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven" (1950)

A possible meaning for the phrase "the trials of device" —

See also Log24 posts mentioning a particular device, the pentagram .

For instance —

Wittgenstein's pentagram and 4x4 'counting-pattern'

Related figures

Pentagon with pentagram    

Friday, April 21, 2017

Music Box

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:07 PM

Guitart et al. on 'box' theory of creativity

A box from the annus mirabilis

See Hudson’s 4×4 array.

Related material —

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mathematics and Narrative

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:40 PM

Mathematics —

Hudson's parametrization of the
4×4 square, published in 1905:

A later parametrization, from this date in 1986:


A note from later in 1986 shows the equivalence of these
two parametrizations:

Narrative —

Posts tagged Memory-History-Geometry.

The mathematically challenged may prefer the narrative of the
Creation Matrix from the religion of the Transformers:

"According to religious legend, the core of the Matrix
was created from Solomus, the god of wisdom,
trapped in the form of a crystal by Mortilus, the god
of death. Following the defeat of Mortilus, Solomus
managed to transform his crystal prison into the Matrix—
a conduit for the energies of Primus, who had himself
transformed into the life-giving computer Vector Sigma."

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tetrahedral Cayley-Salmon Model

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:38 AM

The figure below is one approach to the exercise
posted here on December 10, 2016.

Tetrahedral model (minus six lines) of the large Desargues configuration

Some background from earlier posts —

IMAGE- Geometry of the Six-Set, Steven H. Cullinane, April 23, 2013

Click the image below to enlarge it.

Polster's tetrahedral model of the small Desargues configuration

Friday, November 25, 2016


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Before the monograph "Diamond Theory" was distributed in 1976,
two (at least) notable figures were published that illustrate
symmetry properties of the 4×4 square:

Hudson in 1905 —

Golomb in 1967 —

It is also likely that some figures illustrating Walsh functions  as
two-color square arrays were published prior to 1976.

Update of Dec. 7, 2016 —
The earlier 1950's diagrams of Veitch and Karnaugh used the
1's and 0's of Boole, not those of Galois.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:00 AM

The term "parametrization," as discussed in Wikipedia,
seems useful for describing labelings that are not, at least
at first glance, of a vector-space  nature.

Examples: The labelings of a 4×4 array by a blank space
plus the 15 two-subsets of a six-set (Hudson, 1905) or by a
blank plus the 5 elements and the 10 two-subsets of a five-set
(derived in 2014 from a 1906 page by Whitehead), or by 
a blank plus the 15 line diagrams of the diamond theorem.

Thus "parametrization" is apparently more general than
the word "coodinatization" used by Hermann Weyl —

“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

Note, however, that Weyl's definition of "coordinatization"
is not limited to vector-space  coordinates. He describes it
as simply a mapping to a set of reproducible symbols

(But Weyl does imply that these symbols should, like vector-space 
coordinates, admit a group of transformations among themselves
that can be used to describe transformations of the point-space
being coordinatized.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Squaring the Pentagon

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:00 AM

The "points" and "lines" of finite  geometry are abstract
entities satisfying only whatever incidence requirements
yield non-contradictory and interesting results. In finite
geometry, neither the points nor the lines are required to
lie within any Euclidean (or, for that matter, non-Euclidean)

Models  of finite geometries may, however, embed the
points and lines within non -finite geometries in order
to aid visualization.

For instance, the 15 points and 35 lines of PG(3,2) may
be represented by subsets of a 4×4 array of dots, or squares,
located in the Euclidean plane. These "lines" are usually finite
subsets of dots or squares and not*  lines of the Euclidean plane.

Example — See "4×4" in this journal.

Some impose on configurations from finite geometry
the rather artificial requirement that both  points and lines
must be representable as those of a Euclidean plane.

Example:  A Cremona-Richmond pentagon —

Pentagon with pentagram

A square version of these 15 "points" —

A 1905 square version of these 15 "points" 
with digits instead of letters —

See Parametrizing the 4×4 Array
(Log24 post of Sept. 13, 2016).

Update of 8 AM ET Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 —
For more illustrations, do a Google image search
on "the 2-subsets of a 6-set." (See one such search.)

* But in some models are subsets of the grid lines 
   that separate squares within an array.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Kummer Lattice

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 2:00 PM

The previous post quoted Tom Wolfe on Chomsky's use of
the word "array." 

An example of particular interest is the 4×4  array
(whether of dots or of unit squares) —


Some context for the 4×4 array —

The following definition indicates that the 4×4 array, when
suitably coordinatized, underlies the Kummer lattice .

Further background on the Kummer lattice:

Alice Garbagnati and Alessandra Sarti, 
"Kummer Surfaces and K3 surfaces
with $(Z/2Z)^4$ symplectic action." 
To appear in Rocky Mountain J. Math.

The above article is written from the viewpoint of traditional
algebraic geometry. For a less traditional view of the underlying
affine 4-space from finite  geometry, see the website
Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

Some further context

"To our knowledge, the relation of the Golay code
to the Kummer lattice is a new observation."

— Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland,
"The overarching finite symmetry group of
Kummer surfaces in the Mathieu group M24 

As noted earlier, Taormina and Wendland seem not to be aware of
R. W. H. T. Hudson's use of the (uncoordinatized*) 4×4 array in his
1905 book Kummer's Quartic Surface.  The array was coordinatized,
i.e. given a "vector space structure," by Cullinane eight years prior to
the cited remarks of Curtis.

* Update of Sept. 14: "Uncoordinatized," but parametrized  by 0 and
the 15 two-subsets of a six-set. See the post of Sept. 13.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rosenhain and Göpel Revisited

The authors Taormina and Wendland in the previous post
discussed some mathematics they apparently did not know was
related to a classic 1905 book by R. W. H. T. Hudson, Kummer's
Quartic Surface

"This famous book is a prototype for the possibility
of explaining and exploring a many-faceted topic of
research, without focussing on general definitions,
formal techniques, or even fancy machinery. In this
regard, the book still stands as a highly recommendable,
unparalleled introduction to Kummer surfaces, as a
permanent source of inspiration and, last but not least, 
as an everlasting symbol of mathematical culture."

— Werner Kleinert, Mathematical Reviews ,
     as quoted at Amazon.com

Some 4×4 diagrams from that book are highly relevant to the
discussion by Taormina and Wendland of the 4×4 squares within
the 1974 Miracle Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis that were later,
in 1987, described by Curtis as pictures of the vector 4-space over
the two-element Galois field GF(2).

Hudson did not think of his 4×4 diagrams as illustrating a vector space,
but he did use them to picture certain subsets of the 16 cells in each
diagram that he called Rosenhain and Göpel tetrads .

Some related work of my own (click images for related posts)—

Rosenhain tetrads as 20 of the 35 projective lines in PG(3,2)

IMAGE- Desargues's theorem in light of Galois geometry

Göpel tetrads as 15 of the 35 projective lines in PG(3,2)

Anticommuting Dirac matrices as spreads of projective lines

Related terminology describing the Göpel tetrads above

Ron Shaw on symplectic geometry and a linear complex in PG(3,2)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Slow Art, Continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:01 AM

The title of the previous post, "Slow Art," is a phrase
of the late art critic Robert Hughes.

Example from mathematics:

  • Göpel tetrads as subsets of a 4×4 square in the classic
    1905 book Kummer's Quartic Surface  by R. W. H. T. Hudson.
    These subsets were constructed as helpful schematic diagrams,
    without any reference to the concept of finite  geometry they
    were later to embody.
  • Göpel tetrads (not named as such), again as subsets of
    a 4×4 square, that form the 15 isotropic projective lines of the
    finite projective 3-space PG(3,2) in a note on finite geometry
    from 1986 —

    Göpel tetrads in an inscape, April 1986

  • Göpel tetrads as these figures of finite  geometry in a 1990
    foreword to the reissued 1905 book of Hudson:

IMAGE- Galois geometry in Wolf Barth's 1990 foreword to Hudson's 1905 'Kummer's Quartic Surface'

Click the Barth passage to see it with its surrounding text.

Related material:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Smoke and Mirrors

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

This post is continued from a March 12, 2013, post titled
"Smoke and Mirrors" on art in Tromsø, Norway, and from
a June 22, 2014, post on the nineteenth-century 
mathematicians Rosenhain and Göpel.

The latter day was the day of death for 
mathematician Loren D. Olson, Harvard '64.

For some background on that June 22 post, see the tag 
Rosenhain and Göpel in this journal.

Some background on Olson, who taught at the
University of Tromsø, from the American Mathematical
Society yesterday:

Olson died not long after attending the 50th reunion of the
Harvard Class of 1964.

For another connection between that class (also my own) 
and Tromsø, see posts tagged "Elegantly Packaged."
This phrase was taken from today's (print) 
New York Times  review of a new play titled "Smoke."
The phrase refers here  to the following "package" for 
some mathematical objects that were named after 
Rosenhain and Göpel — a 4×4 array —

For the way these objects were packaged within the array
in 1905 by British mathematician R. W. H. T. Hudson, see
a page at finitegometry.org/sc. For the connection to the art 
in Tromsø mentioned above, see the diamond theorem.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Wrinkle in Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:30 AM

"There is  such a thing as a tesseract." — Madeleine L'Engle

An approach via the Omega Matrix:


See, too, Rosenhain and Göpel as The Shadow Guests .

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mystery Box III: Inside, Outside

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 2:28 PM

(Continued from Mystery Box, Feb. 4, and Mystery Box II, Feb. 5.)

The Box

Inside the Box

Outside the Box

For the connection of the inside  notation to the outside  geometry,
see Desargues via Galois.

(For a related connection to curves  and surfaces  in the outside
geometry, see Hudson's classic Kummer's Quartic Surface  and
Rosenhain and Göpel Tetrads in PG(3,2).)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moonshine II

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , , — m759 @ 10:31 AM

(Continued from yesterday)

The foreword by Wolf Barth in the 1990 Cambridge U. Press
reissue of Hudson's 1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface
covers some of the material in yesterday's post Moonshine.

The distinction that Barth described in 1990 was also described, and illustrated,
in my 1986 note "Picturing the smallest projective 3-space."  The affine 4-space
over the the finite Galois field GF(2) that Barth describes was earlier described—
within a 4×4 array like that pictured by Hudson in 1905— in a 1979 American
Mathematical Society abstract, "Symmetry invariance in a diamond ring."

"The distinction between Rosenhain and Goepel tetrads
is nothing but the distinction between isotropic and
non-isotropic planes in this affine space over the finite field."

The 1990 paragraph of Barth quoted above may be viewed as a summary
of these facts, and also of my March 17, 2013, note "Rosenhain and Göpel
Tetrads in PG(3,2)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Unexpected connections between areas of mathematics
previously thought to be unrelated are sometimes referred
to as "moonshine."  An example—  the apparent connections
between parts of complex analysis and groups related to the 
large Mathieu group M24. Some recent work on such apparent
connections, by Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland, among
others (for instance, Miranda C.N. Cheng and John F.R. Duncan),
involves structures related to Kummer surfaces .
In a classic book, Kummer's Quartic Surface  (1905),
R.W.H.T. Hudson pictured a set of 140 structures, the 80
Rosenhain tetrads and the 60 Göpel tetrads, as 4-element
subsets of a 16-element 4×4 array.  It turns out that these
140 structures are the planes of the finite affine geometry
AG(4,2) of four dimensions over the two-element Galois field.
(See Diamond Theory in 1937.) 

A Google search documents the moonshine
relating Rosenhain's and Göpel's 19th-century work
in complex analysis to M24  via the book of Hudson and
the geometry of the 4×4 square.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Up-to-Date Geometry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:24 PM

The following excerpt from a January 20, 2013, preprint shows that
a Galois-geometry version of the large Desargues 154203 configuration,
although based on the nineteenth-century work of Galois* and of Fano,** 
may at times have twenty-first-century applications.

IMAGE- James Atkinson, Jan. 2013 preprint on Yang-Baxter maps mentioning finite geometry

Some context —

Atkinson's paper does not use the square model of PG(3,2), which later
in 2013 provided a natural view of the large Desargues 154203 configuration.
See my own Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry.  Atkinson's
"subset of 20 lines" corresponds to 20 of the 80 Rosenhain tetrads
mentioned in that later article and pictured within 4×4 squares in Hudson's
1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface.

* E. Galois, definition of finite fields in "Sur la Théorie des Nombres,"
  Bulletin des Sciences Mathématiques de M. Férussac,
  Vol. 13, 1830, pp. 428-435.

** G. Fano, definition of PG(3,2) in "Sui Postulati Fondamentali…,"
    Giornale di Matematiche, Vol. 30, 1892, pp. 106-132.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Priority Claim

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 9:00 AM

From an arXiv preprint submitted July 18, 2011,
and last revised on March 11, 2013 (version 4):

"By our construction, this vector space is the dual
of our hypercube F24 built on I \ O9. The vector space
structure of the latter, to our knowledge, is first
mentioned by Curtis
in [Cur89]. Hence altogether
our proposition 2.3.4 gives a novel geometric
meaning in terms of Kummer geometry to the known
vector space structure on I \ O9."

[Cur89] reference:
 R. T. Curtis, "Further elementary techniques using
the miracle octad generator," Proc. Edinburgh
Math. Soc. 
32 (1989), 345-353 (received on
July 20, 1987).

— Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland,
    "The overarching finite symmetry group of Kummer
      surfaces in the Mathieu group 24 ,"
     arXiv.org > hep-th > arXiv:1107.3834

"First mentioned by Curtis…."

No. I claim that to the best of my knowledge, the 
vector space structure was first mentioned by me,
Steven H. Cullinane, in an AMS abstract submitted
in October 1978, some nine years before the
Curtis article.

Update of the above paragraph on July 6, 2013—

No. The vector space structure was described by
(for instance) Peter J. Cameron in a 1976
Cambridge University Press book —
Parallelisms of Complete Designs .
See the proof of Theorem 3A.13 on pages 59 and 60.

The vector space structure as it occurs in a 4×4 array
of the sort that appears in the Curtis Miracle Octad
Generator may first have been pointed out by me,
Steven H. Cullinane,
 in an AMS abstract submitted in
October 1978, some nine years before the Curtis article.

See Notes on Finite Geometry for some background.

See in particular The Galois Tesseract.

For the relationship of the 1978 abstract to Kummer
geometry, see Rosenhain and Göpel Tetrads in PG(3,2).

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Crosswicks Curse

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:00 PM


From the prologue to the new Joyce Carol Oates
novel Accursed

"This journey I undertake with such anticipation
is not one of geographical space but one of Time—
for it is the year 1905 that is my destination.

1905!—the very year of the Curse."

Today's previous post supplied a fanciful link
between the Crosswicks Curse of Oates and
the Crosswicks tesseract  of Madeleine L'Engle.

The Crosswicks Curse according to L'Engle
in her classic 1962 novel A Wrinkle in Time —

"There is  such a thing as a tesseract."

A tesseract is a 4-dimensional hypercube that
(as pointed out by Coxeter in 1950) may also 
be viewed as a 4×4 array (with opposite edges

Meanwhile, back in 1905

For more details, see how the Rosenhain and Göpel tetrads occur naturally
in the diamond theorem model of the 35 lines of the 15-point projective
Galois space PG(3,2).

See also Conwell in this journal and George Macfeely Conwell in the
honors list of the Princeton Class of 1905.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Defining Configurations*

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 PM

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences has an article titled "Number of combinatorial configurations of type (n_3)," by N.J.A. Sloane and D. Glynn.

From that article:

  • DEFINITION: A combinatorial configuration of type (n_3) consists of an (abstract) set of n points together with a set of n triples of points, called lines, such that each point belongs to 3 lines and each line contains 3 points.
  • EXAMPLE: The unique (8_3) configuration consists of the triples 125, 148, 167, 236, 278, 347, 358, 456.

The following corrects the word "unique" in the example.


* This post corrects an earlier post, also numbered 14660 and dated 7 PM March 18, 2011, that was in error.
   The correction was made at about 11:50 AM on March 20, 2011.


Update of March 21

The problem here is of course with the definition. Sloane and Glynn failed to include in their definition a condition that is common in other definitions of configurations, even abstract or purely "combinatorial" configurations. See, for instance, Configurations of Points and Lines , by Branko Grunbaum (American Mathematical Society, 2009), p. 17—

In the most general sense we shall consider combinatorial (or abstract) configurations; we shall use the term set-configurations as well. In this setting "points" are interpreted as any symbols (usually letters or integers), and "lines" are families of such symbols; "incidence" means that a "point" is an element of a "line". It follows that combinatorial configurations are special kinds of general incidence structures. Occasionally, in order to simplify and clarify the language, for "points" we shall use the term marks, and for "lines" we shall use blocks. The main property of geometric configurations that is preserved in the generalization to set-configurations (and that characterizes such configurations) is that two marks are incident with at most one block, and two blocks with at most one mark.

Whether or not omitting this "at most one" condition from the definition is aesthetically the best choice, it dramatically changes the number  of configurations in the resulting theory, as the above (8_3) examples show.

Update of March 22 (itself updated on March 25)

For further background on configurations, see Dolgachev—


Note that the two examples Dolgachev mentions here, with 16 points and 9 points, are not unrelated to the geometry of 4×4 and 3×3 square arrays. For the Kummer and related 16-point configurations, see section 10.3, "The Three Biplanes of Order 4," in Burkard Polster's A Geometrical Picture Book  (Springer, 1998). See also the 4×4 array described by Gordon Royle in an undated web page and in 1980 by Assmus and Sardi. For the Hesse configuration, see (for instance) the passage from Coxeter quoted in Quaternions in an Affine Galois Plane.

Update of March 27

See the above link to the (16,6) 4×4 array and the (16,6) exercises using this array in R.D. Carmichael's classic Introduction to the Theory of Groups of Finite Order  (1937), pp. 42-43. For a connection of this sort of 4×4 geometry to the geometry of the diamond theorem, read "The 2-subsets of a 6-set are the points of a PG(3,2)" (a note from 1986) in light of R.W.H.T. Hudson's 1905 classic Kummer's Quartic Surface , pages 8-9, 16-17, 44-45, 76-77, 78-79, and 80.

Powered by WordPress