For affine group actions, see Ex Fano Appollinis (June 24)
and Solomon's Cube.
For one approach to Mathieu group actions on a 24cube subset
of the 4x4x4 cube, see . . .
For a different sort of Mathieu cube, see Aitchison.
For affine group actions, see Ex Fano Appollinis (June 24)
and Solomon's Cube.
For one approach to Mathieu group actions on a 24cube subset
of the 4x4x4 cube, see . . .
For a different sort of Mathieu cube, see Aitchison.
(Continued from Abel Prize, August 26)
The situation is rather different when the
underlying Galois field has two rather than
three elements… See Galois Geometry.
The coffee scene from “Bleu”
Related material from this journal:
The Dream of
the Expanded Field
The current article on group theory at Wikipedia has a Rubik's Cube as its logo–
The article quotes Nathan C. Carter on the question "What is symmetry?"
This naturally suggests the question "Who is Nathan C. Carter?"
A search for the answer yields the following set of images…
Click image for some historical background.
Carter turns out to be a mathematics professor at Bentley University. His logo– an eightfoldcube labeling (in the guise of a Cayley graph)– is in much better taste than Wikipedia's.
From the former date above —
Saturday, September 17, 2016 
From the latter date above —
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Parametrization

From March 2018 —
" . . . the 3 by 3, the sixsided, threelayer configuration of
the original Rubik’s Cube, which bestows an illusion of brilliance
on those who can solve it."
— John Branch in the online New York Times today,
"Children of the Cube":
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/sports/
cubingusanationalsmaxpark.html
Cubesolving, like other sports, allows for displays of
impressive and admirable skill, if not "brilliance."
The mathematics — group theory — that is sometimes associated
with Rubik's Cube is, however, not a sport. See Rubik + Group
in this journal.
Related material on automorphism groups —
The "Eightfold Cube" structure shown above with Weyl
competes rather directly with the "Eightfold Way" sculpture
shown above with Bryant. The structure and the sculpture
each illustrate Klein's order168 simple group.
Perhaps in part because of this competition, fans of the Mathematical
Sciences Research Institute (MSRI, pronounced "Misery') are less likely
to enjoy, and discuss, the eightcube mathematical structure above
than they are an eightcube mechanical puzzle like the one below.
Note also the earlier (2006) "Design Cube 2x2x2" webpage
illustrating graphic designs on the eightfold cube. This is visually,
if not mathematically, related to the (2010) "Expert's Cube."
Compare and contrast Peirce's seven systems of metaphysics with
the seven projective points in a post of March 1, 2010 —
From my commentary on Carter's question —
Foreword by Sir Michael Atiyah —
"Poincaré said that science is no more a collection of facts
than a house is a collection of bricks. The facts have to be
ordered or structured, they have to fit a theory, a construct
(often mathematical) in the human mind. . . .
… Mathematics may be art, but to the general public it is
a black art, more akin to magic and mystery. This presents
a constant challenge to the mathematical community: to
explain how art fits into our subject and what we mean by beauty.
In attempting to bridge this divide I have always found that
architecture is the best of the arts to compare with mathematics.
The analogy between the two subjects is not hard to describe
and enables abstract ideas to be exemplified by bricks and mortar,
in the spirit of the Poincaré quotation I used earlier."
— Sir Michael Atiyah, "The Art of Mathematics"
in the AMS Notices , January 2010
Judy Bass, Los Angeles Times , March 12, 1989 —
"Like Rubik's Cube, The Eight demands to be pondered."
As does a figure from 1984, Cullinane's Cube —
For natural group actions on the Cullinane cube,
see "The Eightfold Cube" and
"A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168."
See also the recent post Cube Bricks 1984 —
Related remark from the literature —
Note that only the static structure is described by Felsner, not the
168 group actions discussed by Cullinane. For remarks on such
group actions in the literature, see "Cube Space, 19842003."
(From Anatomy of a Cube, Sept. 18, 2011.)
For Autism Sunday —
Mathematician John von Neumann
reportedly died on this date.
“He belonged to that socalled
Hungarian phenomenon….”
— A webpage titled
“Von Neumann, Jewish Catholic”
Illustrations of another Hungarian phenomenon:
"The wind of change is blowing throughout the continent.
Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness
is a political fact."— Prime Minister Harold Macmillan,
South Africa, 1960
"Lord knows when the cold wind blows
it'll turn your head around." — James Taylor
From a Log24 post of August 27, 2011:
For related remarks on "national consciousness," see Frantz Fanon.
The previous post told how user58512 at math.stackexchange.com
sought in 2013 a geometric representation of Q_{8 }, the quaternion group.
He ended up displaying an illustration that very possibly was drawn,
without any acknowledgement of its source, from my own work.
On the date that user58512 published that illustration, he further
pursued his March 1, 2013, goal of a “twisty” quaternion model.
On March 12, 2013, he suggested that the quaternion group might be
the symmetry group of the following twistycube coloring:
Illustration by Jim Belk
Here is part of a reply by Jim Belk from Nov. 11, 2013, elaborating on
that suggestion:
Belk argues that the colored cube is preserved under the group
of actions he describes. It is, however, also preserved under a
larger group. (Consider, say, rotation of the entire cube by 180
degrees about the center of any one of its checkered faces.) The
group Belk describes seems therefore to be a symmetry group,
not the symmetry group, of the colored cube.
I do not know if any combination puzzle has a coloring with
precisely the quaternion group as its symmetry group.
(Updated at 12:15 AM June 6 to point out the larger symmetry group
and delete a comment about an arXiv paper on quaternion group models.)
(Orlin Wagner/Associated Press) – A vehicle tops a hill along
U.S. Route 56 as a severe thunderstorm moves through the area
near Baldwin City, Kansas, on Sunday, April 27, 2014.
See a related news story.
Galois and Abel vs. Rubik
“Abel was done to death by poverty, Galois by stupidity.
In all the history of science there is no completer example
of the triumph of crass stupidity….”
— Eric Temple Bell, Men of Mathematics
Gray Space (Continued)
… For The Church of Plan 9.
For Pete Rustan, space recon expert, who died on June 28—
See also Galois vs. Rubik and Group Theory Template.
Yesterday’s midday post, borrowing a phrase from the theology of Marvel Comics,
offered Rubik’s mechanical contrivance as a rather absurd “Cosmic Cube.”
A simpler candidate for the “Cube” part of that phrase:
The Eightfold Cube
As noted elsewhere, a simple reflection group* of order 168 acts naturally on this structure.
“Because of their truly fundamental role in mathematics,
even the simplest diagrams concerning finite reflection groups
(or finite mirror systems, or root systems—
the languages are equivalent) have interpretations
of cosmological proportions.”
— Alexandre V. Borovik in “Coxeter Theory: The Cognitive Aspects“
Borovik has a such a diagram—
The planes in Borovik’s figure are those separating the parts of the eightfold cube above.
In Coxeter theory, these are Euclidean hyperplanes. In the eightfold cube, they represent three of seven projective points that are permuted by the above group of order 168.
In light of Borovik’s remarks, the eightfold cube might serve to illustrate the “Cosmic” part of the Marvel Comics phrase.
For some related theological remarks, see Cube Trinity in this journal.
Happy St. Augustine’s Day.
* I.e., one generated by reflections : group actions that fix a hyperplane pointwise. In the eightfold cube, viewed as a vector space of 3 dimensions over the 2element Galois field, these hyperplanes are certain sets of four subcubes.
Prequel — (Click to enlarge)
Background —
See also Rubik in this journal.
* For the title, see Groups Acting.
But leave the wise to wrangle, and with me
the quarrel of the universe let be;
and, in some corner of the hubbub couched,
make game of that which makes as much of thee.
Related material: Harvard Treasure, Favicon, and Crimson Tide.
A sequel to Wednesday afternoon's post on The Harvard Crimson ,
Atlas Shrugged (illustrated below) —
Related material found today in Wikipedia—
See also Savage Logic (Oct. 19, 2010), as well as
Stellan Skarsgård in Lie Groups for Holy Week (March 30, 2010)
and in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004).
"The cube has…13 axes of symmetry:
6 C_{2} (axes joining midpoints of opposite edges),
4 C_{3} (space diagonals), and
3C_{4} (axes joining opposite face centroids)."
–Wolfram MathWorld article on the cube
These 13 symmetry axes can be used to illustrate the interplay between Euclidean and Galois geometry in a cubic model of the 13point Galois plane.
The geometer's 3×3×3 cube–
27 separate subcubes unconnected
by any Rubiklike mechanism–
The 13 symmetry axes of the (Euclidean) cube–
exactly one axis for each pair of opposite
subcubes in the (Galois) 3×3×3 cube–
A closely related structure–
the finite projective plane
with 13 points and 13 lines–
A later version of the 13point plane
by Ed Pegg Jr.–
A group action on the 3×3×3 cube
as illustrated by a Wolfram program
by Ed Pegg Jr. (undated, but closely
related to a March 26, 1985 note
by Steven H. Cullinane)–
The above images tell a story of sorts.
The moral of the story–
Galois projective geometries can be viewed
in the context of the larger affine geometries
from which they are derived.
The standard definition of points in a Galois projective plane is that they are lines through the (arbitrarily chosen) origin in a corresponding affine 3space converted to a vector 3space.
If we choose the origin as the center cube in coordinatizing the 3×3×3 cube (See Weyl's relativity problem ), then the cube's 13 axes of symmetry can, if the other 26 cubes have properly (Weyl's "objectively") chosen coordinates, illustrate nicely the 13 projective points derived from the 27 affine points in the cube model.
The 13 lines of the resulting Galois projective plane may be derived from Euclidean planes through the cube's center point that are perpendicular to the cube's 13 Euclidean symmetry axes.
The above standard definition of points in a Galois projective plane may of course also be used in a simpler structure– the eightfold cube.
(The eightfold cube also allows a less standard way to picture projective points that is related to the symmetries of "diamond" patterns formed by group actions on graphic designs.)
See also Ed Pegg Jr. on finite geometry on May 30, 2006
at the Mathematical Association of America.
Wikipedia on Rubik's 2×2×2 "Pocket Cube"–
"Any permutation of the 8 corner cubies is possible (8! positions)."
Some pages related to this claim–
Analyzing Rubik's Cube with GAP
Online JavaScript Pocket Cube.
The claim is of course trivially true for the unconnected subcubes of Froebel's Third Gift:
See also:
MoMA Goes to Kindergarten,
Tea Privileges,
and
"Ad Reinhardt and Tony Smith:
A Dialogue,"
an exhibition opening today
at Pace Wildenstein.
For a different sort
of dialogue, click on the
artists' names above.
For a different
approach to S_{8},
see Symmetries.
"With humor, my dear Zilkov.
Always with a little humor."
 The Manchurian Candidate
And now, from
the author of Sphere…
He beomes aware of something else… some other presence.
“Anybody here?” he says.
I am here.
He almost jumps, it is so loud. Or it seems loud. Then he wonders if he has heard anything at all.
“Did you speak?”
No.
How are we communicating? he wonders.
The way everything communicates with everything else.
Which way is that?
Why do you ask if you already know the answer?
— Sphere, by Michael Crichton, Harvard ’64
“… when I went to Princeton things were completely different. This chapel, for instance– I remember when it was just a clearing, cordoned off with sharp sticks. Prayer was compulsory back then, and you couldn’t just fake it by moving your lips; you had to know the words, and really mean them. I’m dating myself, but this was before Jesus Christ.”
— Baccalaureate address at Princeton, Pentecost 2006, reprinted in The New Yorker, edited by David Remnick, Princeton ’81
Related figures:
For further details,
see Solomon’s Cube
and myspace.com/affine.
For further details,
see Jews on Buddhism
and
Adventures in Group Theory.
“In this way we are offered
a formidable lesson
for every Christian community.”
Pope Benedict XVI
on Pentecost,
June 4, 2006,
St. Peter’s Square.
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