John Lithgow in "The Tomorrow Man" (2019) —
"… connect the dots…."
In memory of a Church emissary who reportedly died on September 4,
here is a Log24 flashback reposted on that date —
Related poetry —
"To every man upon this earth,
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
and the temples of his gods…?"
— Macaulay, quoted in the April 2013 film "Oblivion"
Related fiction —
The exercise in the previous post was suggested by a passage
purporting to "use standard block design theory" that was written
by some anonymous author at Wikipedia on March 1, 2019:
Here "rm OR" apparently means "remove original research."
Before the March 1 revision . . .
The "original research" objected to and removed was the paragraph
beginning "To explain this further." That paragraph was put into the
article earlier on Feb. 28 by yet another anonymous author (not by me).
An account of my own (1976 and later) original research on this subject
is pictured below, in a note from Feb. 20, 1986 —
From some 1949 remarks of Weyl— "The relativity problem is one of central significance throughout geometry and algebra and has been recognized as such by the mathematicians at an early time." — Hermann Weyl, "Relativity Theory as a Stimulus in Mathematical Research," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society , Vol. 93, No. 7, Theory of Relativity in Contemporary Science: Papers Read at the Celebration of the Seventieth Birthday of Professor Albert Einstein in Princeton, March 19, 1949 (Dec. 30, 1949), pp. 535541 Weyl in 1946—: "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 
For some context, see Relativity Problem in this journal.
In the case of PG(3,2), there is a choice of geometric models
to be coordinatized: two such models are the traditional
tetrahedral model long promoted by Burkard Polster, and
the square model of Steven H. Cullinane.
The above Wikipedia section tacitly (and unfairly) assumes that
the model being coordinatized is the tetrahedral model. For
coordinatization of the square model, see (for instance) the webpage
Finite Relativity.
For comparison of the two models, see a figure posted here on
May 21, 2014 —
Labeling the Tetrahedral Model (Click to enlarge) —
"Citation needed" —
The anonymous characters who often update the PG(3,2) Wikipedia article
probably would not consider my post of 2014, titled "The Tetrahedral
Model of PG(3,2)," a "reliable source."
The figure below is one approach to the exercise
posted here on December 10, 2016.
Some background from earlier posts —
Click the image below to enlarge it.
Continuing the "Memory, History, Geometry" theme
from yesterday …
See Tetrahedral, Oblivion, and Tetrahedral Oblivion.
"Welcome home, Jack."
Update of Nov. 30, 2014 —
It turns out that the following construction appears on
pages 1617 of A Geometrical Picture Book , by
Burkard Polster (Springer, 1998).
"Experienced mathematicians know that often the hardest
part of researching a problem is understanding precisely
what that problem says. They often follow Polya's wise
advice: 'If you can't solve a problem, then there is an
easier problem you can't solve: find it.'"
—John H. Conway, foreword to the 2004 Princeton
Science Library edition of How to Solve It , by G. Polya
For a similar but more difficult problem involving the
31point projective plane, see yesterday's post
"EuclideanGalois Interplay."
The above new [see update above] Fanoplane model was
suggested by some 1998 remarks of the late Stephen Eberhart.
See this morning's followup to "EuclideanGalois Interplay"
quoting Eberhart on the topic of how some of the smallest finite
projective planes relate to the symmetries of the five Platonic solids.
Update of Nov. 27, 2014: The seventh "line" of the tetrahedral
Fano model was redefined for greater symmetry.
The page of Whitehead linked to this morning
suggests a review of Polster's tetrahedral model
of the finite projective 3space PG(3,2) over the
twoelement Galois field GF(2).
The above passage from Whitehead's 1906 book suggests
that the tetrahedral model may be older than Polster thinks.
Shown at right below is a correspondence between Whitehead's
version of the tetrahedral model and my own square model,
based on the 4×4 array I call the Galois tesseract (at left below).
(Click to enlarge.)
My own contribution to an event of the Mathematical Association of America:
Rick’s Tricky Six and The Judas Seat.
The Polster tetrahedral model of a finite geometry appears, notably,
in a Mathematics Magazine article from April 2009—
In memory of a retired codirector of Galerie St. Etienne
who reportedly died on October 17 . . .
"It is… difficult to mount encyclopedic exhibitions
without an overarching arthistorical narrative…."
— Jane Kallir, director of Galerie St. Etienne, in
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewishartsandculture/
visualartanddesign/269564/theendofmiddleclassart
An overarching narrative from the above death date —
See as well the previous post
and "Dancing at Lughnasa."
The previous post, Tetrahedron Dance, suggests a review of . . .
A figure from St. Patrick's Day 2004 that might
represent a domed roof …
Inscribed Carpenter's Square:
In Latin, NORMA
… and a cinematic "Fire Temple" from 2019 —
In related news . . .
Related background: "e. e. cummings" in this journal.
Note that in the pictures below of the 15 twosubsets of a sixset,
the symbols 1 through 6 in Hudson's square array of 1905 occupy the
same positions as the anticommuting Dirac matrices in Arfken's 1985
square array. Similarly occupying these positions are the skew lines
within a generalized quadrangle (a line complex) inside PG(3,2).
Related narrative — The "Quantum Tesseract Theorem."
(A sequel to Simplex Sigillum Veri and
Rabbit Hole Meets Memory Hole)
" Wittgenstein does not, however, relegate all that is not inside the bounds
of sense to oblivion. He makes a distinction between saying and showing
which is made to do additional crucial work. 'What can be shown cannot
be said,' that is, what cannot be formulated in sayable (sensical)
propositions can only be shown. This applies, for example, to the logical
form of the world, the pictorial form, etc., which show themselves in the
form of (contingent) propositions, in the symbolism, and in logical
propositions. Even the unsayable (metaphysical, ethical, aesthetic)
propositions of philosophy belong in this group — which Wittgenstein
finally describes as 'things that cannot be put into words. They make
themselves manifest. They are what is mystical' " (Tractatus 6.522).
— Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , "Ludwig Wittgenstein"
From Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein.
(First published in Annalen der Naturphilosophie ,1921. 5.4541 The solutions of the problems of logic must be simple, since they set the standard of simplicity. Men have always had a presentiment that there must be a realm in which the answers to questions are symmetrically combined — a priori — to form a selfcontained system. A realm subject to the law: Simplex sigillum veri. 
Somehow, the old Harvard seal, with its motto "Christo et Ecclesiae ,"
was deleted from a bookplate in an archived Harvard copy of Whitehead's
The Axioms of Projective Geometry (Cambridge U. Press, 1906).
In accordance with Wittgenstein's remarks above, here is a new
bookplate seal for Whitehead, based on a simplex —
The 15 points of the finite projective 3space PG(3,2)
arranged in tetrahedral form:
The letter labels, but not the tetrahedral form,
are from The Axioms of Projective Geometry , by
Alfred North Whitehead (Cambridge U. Press, 1906).
The above space PG(3,2), because of its close association with
Kirkman's schoolgirl problem, might be called "schoolgirl space."
Screen Rant on July 31, 2019:
A Google Search sidebar this morning:
Apocalypse Soon! —
Previous posts now tagged Pyramid Game suggest …
A possible New Yorker caption: " e . . . (ab) . . . (cd) . "
Caption Origins —
Playing with shapes related to some 1906 work of Whitehead:
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Tetrahedral Structures

Playing with shapes related to some 1906 work of Whitehead:
For Dan Brown fans …
… and, for fans of The Matrix, another tale
from the above death date: May 16, 2019 —
An illustration from the above
Miracle Octad Generator post:
Related mathematics — Tetrahedron vs. Square.
See "Politics of Experience" and "Blue Guitar."
An image from a Log24 post of March 5, 2019 —
The following paragraph from the above image remains unchanged
as of this morning at Wikipedia:
"A 3(16,4,1) block design has 140 blocks of size 4 on 16 points,
such that each triplet of points is covered exactly once. Pick any
single point, take only the 35 blocks containing that point, and
delete that point. The 35 blocks of size 3 that remain comprise
a PG(3,2) on the 15 remaining points."
Exercise —
Prove or disprove the above assertion about a general "3(16,4,1)
block design," a structure also known as a Steiner quadruple system
(as I pointed out in the March 5 post).
Relevant literature —
A paper from Helsinki in 2005* says there are more than a million
3(16,4,1) block designs, of which only one has an automorphism
group of order 322,560. This is the affine 4space over GF(2),
from which PG(3,2) can be derived using the wellknown process
from finite geometry described in the above Wikipedia paragraph.
* "The Steiner quadruple systems of order 16," by Kaski et al.,
Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series A Volume 113, Issue 8,
November 2006, pages 17641770.
The Square "Inscape" Model of
the Generalized Quadrangle W(2)
Click image to enlarge.
* The title refers to the role of PG (3,2) in Kirkman's schoolgirl problem.
For some backstory, see my post Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines
and, more generally, posts tagged Dirac and Geometry.
arXiv.org > quantph > arXiv:1905.06914 Quantum Physics Placing Kirkman's Schoolgirls and Quantum Spin Pairs on the Fano Plane: A Rainbow of Four Primary Colors, A Harmony of Fifteen Tones J. P. Marceaux, A. R. P. Rau (Submitted on 14 May 2019) A recreational problem from nearly two centuries ago has featured prominently in recent times in the mathematics of designs, codes, and signal processing. The number 15 that is central to the problem coincidentally features in areas of physics, especially in today's field of quantum information, as the number of basic operators of two quantum spins ("qubits"). This affords a 1:1 correspondence that we exploit to use the wellknown Pauli spin or LieClifford algebra of those fifteen operators to provide specific constructions as posed in the recreational problem. An algorithm is set up that, working with four basic objects, generates alternative solutions or designs. The choice of four base colors or four basic chords can thus lead to color diagrams or acoustic patterns that correspond to realizations of each design. The Fano Plane of finite projective geometry involving seven points and lines and the tetrahedral threedimensional simplex of 15 points are key objects that feature in this study. Comments:16 pages, 10 figures Subjects:Quantum Physics (quantph) Cite as:arXiv:1905.06914 [quantph] (or arXiv:1905.06914v1 [quantph] for this version) Submission history
From: A. R. P. Rau [view email] 
See also other posts tagged Tetrahedron vs. Square.
See also other posts tagged Tetrahedron vs. Square, and a related
Log24 search for "Schoolgirl + Space."
Curse of the Fire Temple
"Power outages hit parts of Manhattan
plunging subways, Broadway, into darkness"
Related material — Tetrahedron vs. Square and Cézanne's Greetings.
Compare and contrast:
A figure from St. Patrick's Day 2004 that might represent a domed roof …
Inscribed Carpenter's Square:
In Latin, NORMA
… and a cinematic "Fire Temple" from 2019 —
"The area is home to many artists and people who work in
the media, including many journalists, writers and professionals
working in film and television." — Wikipedia
Tusen takk to My Square Lady —
The three previous posts have now been tagged . . .
Tetrahedron vs. Square and Triangle vs. Cube.
Related material —
Tetrahedron vs. Square:
Labeling the Tetrahedral Model (Click to enlarge) —
Triangle vs. Cube:
… and, from the date of the above John Baez remark —
“I am always the figure in someone else’s dream. I would really rather
sometimes make my own figures and make my own dreams.”
— John Malkovich at squarespace.com, January 10, 2017
Also on that date . . .
See also "Quantum Tesseract Theorem" and "The Crosswicks Curse."
Anonymous remarks on the schoolgirl problem at Wikipedia —
"This solution has a geometric interpretation in connection with
Galois geometry and PG(3,2). Take a tetrahedron and label its
vertices as 0001, 0010, 0100 and 1000. Label its six edge centers
as the XOR of the vertices of that edge. Label the four face centers
as the XOR of the three vertices of that face, and the body center
gets the label 1111. Then the 35 triads of the XOR solution correspond
exactly to the 35 lines of PG(3,2). Each day corresponds to a spread
and each week to a packing."
See also Polster + Tetrahedron in this journal.
There is a different "geometric interpretation in connection with
Galois geometry and PG(3,2)" that uses a square model rather
than a tetrahedral model. The square model of PG(3,2) last
appeared in the schoolgirlproblem article on Feb. 11, 2017, just
before a revision that removed it.
Images from Burkard Polster's Geometrical Picture Book —
See as well in this journal the large Desargues configuration, with
15 points and 20 lines instead of 10 points and 10 lines as above.
Exercise: Can the large Desargues configuration be formed
by adding 5 points and 10 lines to the above Polster model
of the small configuration in such a way as to preserve
the smallconfiguration model's striking symmetry?
(Note: The related figure below from May 21, 2014, is not
necessarily very helpful. Try the Wolfram Demonstrations
model, which requires a free player download.)
Labeling the Tetrahedral Model (Click to enlarge) —
Related folk etymology (see point a above) —
Related literature —
The concept of "fire in the center" at The New Yorker ,
issue dated December 12, 2016, on pages 3839 in the
poem by Marsha de la O titled "A Natural History of Light."
Cézanne's Greetings.
The smallest perfect number,* six, meets
"the smallest perfect universe,"** PG(3,2).
* For the definition of "perfect number," see any introductory
numbertheory text that deals with the history of the subject.
** The phrase "smallest perfect universe" as a name for PG(3,2),
the projective 3space over the 2element Galois field GF(2),
was coined by math writer Burkard Polster. Cullinane's square
model of PG(3,2) differs from the earlier tetrahedral model
discussed by Polster.
(A sequel to the previous post, Perfect Number)
Since antiquity, six has been known as
"the smallest perfect number." The word "perfect"
here means that a number is the sum of its
proper divisors — in the case of six: 1, 2, and 3.
The properties of a sixelement set (a "6set")
divided into three 2sets and divided into two 3sets
are those of what Burkard Polster, using the same
adjective in a different sense, has called
"the smallest perfect universe" — PG(3,2), the projective
3dimensional space over the 2element Galois field.
A Google search for the phrase "smallest perfect universe"
suggests a turnaround in meaning , if not in finance,
that might please Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on her birthday —
The semantic turnaround here in the meaning of "perfect"
is accompanied by a model turnaround in the picture of PG(3,2) as
Polster's tetrahedral model is replaced by Cullinane's square model.
Further background from the previous post —
See also Kirkman's Schoolgirl Problem.
Oslo artist Josefine Lyche has a new Instagram post,
this time on pyramids (the monumental kind).
My response —
Wikipedia's definition of a tetrahedron as a
"trianglebased pyramid" …
… and remarks from a Log24 post of August 14, 2013 :
Norway dance (as interpreted by an American)
I prefer a different, Norwegian, interpretation of "the dance of four."
Related material: 
See also some of Burkard Polster's trianglebased pyramids
and a 1983 trianglebased pyramid in a paper that Polster cites —
(Click image below to enlarge.)
Some other illustrations that are particularly relevant
for Lyche, an enthusiast of magic :
From On Art and Magic (May 5, 2011) —

(Updated at about 7 PM ET on Dec. 3.)
The seven symmetry axes of the regular tetrahedron
are of two types: vertextoface and edgetoedge.
Take these axes as the "points" of a Fano plane.
Each of the tetrahedron's six reflection planes contains
two vertextoface axes and one edgetoedge axis.
Take these six planes as six of the "lines" of a Fano
plane. Then the seventh line is the set of three
edgetoedge axes.
(The Fano tetrahedron is not original with me.
See Polster's 1998 A Geometrical Picture Book , pp. 1617.)
There are three reflection planes parallel to faces
of the cube. Take the seven nonempty subsets of
the set of these three planes as the "points" of a
Fano plane. Define the Fano "lines" as those triples
of these seven subsets in which each member of
the triple is the symmetricdifference sum of the
other two members.
(This is the eightfold cube discussed at finitegeometry.org.)
Update of Nov. 30, 2014 —
For further information on the geometry in
the remarks by Eberhart below, see
pp. 1617 of A Geometrical Picture Book ,
by Burkard Polster (Springer, 1998). Polster
cites a different article by Lemay.
A search for background to the exercise in the previous post
yields a passage from the late Stephen Eberhart:
The first three primes p = 2, 3, and 5 therefore yield finite projective planes with 7, 13, and 31 points and lines, respectively. But these are just the numbers of symmetry axes of the five regular solids, as described in Plato's Timaeus : The tetrahedron has 4 pairs of face planes and comer points + 3 pairs of opposite edges, totalling 7 axes; the cube has 3 pairs of faces + 6 pairs of edges + 4 pairs of comers, totalling 13 axes (the octahedron simply interchanges the roles of faces and comers); and the pentagon dodecahedron has 6 pairs of faces + 15 pairs of edges + 10 pairs of comers, totalling 31 axes (the icosahedron again interchanging roles of faces and comers). This is such a suggestive result, one would expect to find it dealt with in most texts on related subjects; instead, while "well known to those who well know such things" (as Richard Guy likes to quip), it is scarcely to be found in the formal literature [9]. The reason for the common numbers, it turns out, is that the groups of symmetry motions of the regular solids are subgroups of the groups of collineations of the respective finite planes, a face axis being different from an edge axis of a regular solid but all points of a projective plane being alike, so the latter has more symmetries than the former. [9] I am aware only of a series of inhouse publications by Fernand Lemay of the Laboratoire de Didactique, Faculté des Sciences de I 'Éducation, Univ. Laval, Québec, in particular those collectively titled Genèse de la géométrie IX.
— Stephen Eberhart, Dept. of Mathematics, 
Eberhart died of bone cancer in 2003. A memorial by his
high school class includes an Aug. 7, 2003, transcribed
letter from Eberhart to a classmate that ends…
… I earned MA’s in math (UW, Seattle) and history (UM, Missoula) where a math/history PhD program had been announced but canceled. So 1984 to 2002 I taught math (esp. nonEuclidean geometry) at C.S.U. Northridge. It’s been a rich life. I’m grateful. Steve 
See also another informative BRIDGES paper by Eberhart
on mathematics and the seven traditional liberal arts.
For previous remarks on this topic, as it relates to
symmetry axes of the cube, see previous posts tagged Interplay.
The above posts discuss, among other things, the Galois
projective plane of order 3, with 13 points and 13 lines.
These Galois points and lines may be modeled in Euclidean geometry
by the 13 symmetry axes and the 13 rotation planes
of the Euclidean cube. They may also be modeled in Galois geometry
by subsets of the 3x3x3 Galois cube (vector 3space over GF(3)).
The 3×3×3 Galois Cube
Exercise: Is there any such analogy between the 31 points of the
order5 Galois projective plane and the 31 symmetry axes of the
Euclidean dodecahedron and icosahedron? Also, how may the
31 projective points be naturally pictured as lines within the
5x5x5 Galois cube (vector 3space over GF(5))?
Update of Nov. 30, 2014 —
For background to the above exercise, see
pp. 1617 of A Geometrical Picture Book ,
by Burkard Polster (Springer, 1998), esp.
the citation to a 1983 article by Lemay.
Some webpages at finitegeometry.org discuss
group actions on Sylvester’s duads and synthemes.
Those pages are based on the square model of
PG(3,2) described in the 1980’s by Steven H. Cullinane.
A rival tetrahedral model of PG(3,2) was described
in the 1990’s by Burkard Polster.
Polster’s tetrahedral model appears, notably, in
a Mathematics Magazine article from April 2009—
Click for a pdf of the article.
Related material:
“The Religion of Cubism” (May 9, 2003) and “Art and Lies”
(Nov. 16, 2008).
This post was suggested by following the link in yesterday’s
Sunday School post to High White Noon, and the link from
there to A Study in Art Education, which mentions the date of
Rudolf Arnheim‘s death, June 9, 2007. This journal
on that date—
The FinkGuy article was announced in a Mathematical
Association of America newsletter dated April 15, 2009.
Those who prefer narrative to mathematics may consult
a Log24 post from a few days earlier, “Where Entertainment is God”
(April 12, 2009), and, for some backstory, The Judas Seat
(February 16, 2007).
From an art exhibition in Oslo last year–
The artist's description above is not in correct lefttoright order.
Actually the hyperplanes above are at left, the points at right.
Compare to "Picturing the Smallest Projective 3Space,"
a note of mine from April 26, 1986—
Click for the original full version.
Compare also to Burkard Polster's original use of
the phrase "the smallest perfect universe."
Polster's tetrahedral model of points and hyperplanes
is quite different from my own square version above.
See also Cullinane on Polster.
Here are links to the gallery press release
and the artist's own photos.
Small World
Added a note to 4×4 Geometry:
The 4×4 square model lets us visualize the projective space PG(3,2) as well as the affine space AG(4,2). For tetrahedral and circular models of PG(3,2), see the work of Burkard Polster. The following is from an advertisement of a talk by Polster on PG(3,2).
The Smallest Perfect Universe “After a short introduction to finite geometries, I’ll take you on a… guided tour of the smallest perfect universe — a complex universe of breathtaking abstract beauty, consisting of only 15 points, 35 lines and 15 planes — a space whose overall design incorporates and improves many of the standard features of the threedimensional Euclidean space we live in…. Among mathematicians our perfect universe is known as — Burkard Polster, May 2001 
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