Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Nervous Set*

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

The previous post suggests a review of the saying
"There is  such a thing as a 4-set."

* Title of a 1959 musical

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Objective Quality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:26 AM

Software writer Richard P. Gabriel describes some work of design
philosopher Christopher Alexander in the 1960's at Harvard:

A more interesting account of these 35 structures:

"It is commonly known that there is a bijection between
the 35 unordered triples of a 7-set [i.e., the 35 partitions
of an 8-set into two 4-sets] and the 35 lines of PG(3,2)
such that lines intersect if and only if the corresponding
triples have exactly one element in common."
— "Generalized Polygons and Semipartial Geometries,"
by F. De Clerck, J. A. Thas, and H. Van Maldeghem,
April 1996 minicourse, example 5 on page 6.

For some context, see Eightfold Geometry by Steven H. Cullinane.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Real Beyond Artifice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — m759 @ 7:20 PM

A professor at Harvard has written about
"the urge to seize and display something
real beyond artifice."

He reportedly died on January 3, 2015.

An image from this journal on that date:

Another Gitterkrieg  image:

 The 24-set   Ω  of  R. T. Curtis

Click on the images for related material.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fourth Right

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 AM

In memory of Rod Taylor, who
reportedly died at 84 on Wednesday,
the seventh day of 2015 —

And there is  such a thing as a 4-set.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wrinkles in Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:25 PM

Rivka Galchen, in a piece mentioned here in June 2010

On Borges:  Imagining the Unwritten Book 

"Think of it this way: there is a vast unwritten book that the heart reacts to, that it races and skips in response to, that it believes in. But it’s the heart’s belief in that vast unwritten book that brought the book into existence; what appears to be exclusively a response (the heart responding to the book) is, in fact, also a conjuring (the heart inventing the book to which it so desperately wishes to respond)."

Related fictions

Galchen's "The Region of Unlikeness" (New Yorker , March 24, 2008)

Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life." A film adaptation is to star Amy Adams.

… and non-fiction

"There is  such a thing as a 4-set." — January 31, 2012

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cameron’s Group Theory Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:00 AM

In "Notes on Finite Group Theory"
by Peter J. Cameron (October 2013),
some parts are particularly related to the mathematics of
the 4×4 square (viewable in various ways as four quartets)—

  • Definition 1.3.1, Group actions, and example on partitions of a 4-set, p. 19.
  • Exercise 1.1, The group of Fano-plane symmetries, p. 35.
  • Exercise 2.17, The group of the empty set and the 15 two-subsets of a six-set, p. 66.
  • Section 3.1.2, The holomorph of a group, p. 70.
  • Exercise 3.7, The groups A8 and AGL(4,2), p. 78.

Cameron is the author of Parallelisms of Complete Designs ,
a book notable in part for its chapter epigraphs from T.S. Eliot's
Four Quartets . These epigraphs, if not the text proper, seem
appropriate for All Saints' Day.

But note also Log24 posts tagged Not Theology.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pascal via Curtis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:17 AM

Click image for some background.

IMAGE- The Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) of R.T. Curtis

Shown above is a rearranged version of the
Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) of R. T. Curtis
("A new combinatorial approach to M24,"
Math. Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 79 (1976), 25-42.)

The 8-subcell rectangles in the left part of the figure may be
viewed as illustrating (if the top left subcell is disregarded)
the thirty-five 3-subsets of a 7-set.

Such a view relates, as the remarks below show, the
MOG's underlying Galois geometry, that of PG(3,2), to
the hexagrammum mysticum  of Pascal.

On Danzer's 354 Configuration:

IMAGE- Branko Grünbaum on Danzer's configuration

"Combinatorially, Danzer’s configuration can be interpreted
as defined by all 3-sets and all 4-sets that can be formed
by the elements of a 7-element set; each 'point' is represented
by one of the 3-sets, and it is incident with those lines
(represented by 4-sets) that contain the 3-set."

— Branko Grünbaum, "Musings on an Example of Danzer's,"
European Journal of Combinatorics , 29 (2008),
pp. 1910–1918 (online March 11, 2008)

"Danzer's configuration is deeply rooted in
Pascal's Hexagrammum Mysticum ."

— Marko Boben, Gábor Gévay, and Tomaž Pisanski,
"Danzer's Configuration Revisited," arXiv.org, Jan. 6, 2013

For an approach to such configurations that differs from
those of Grünbaum, Boben, Gévay, and Pisanski, see

Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry.

Grünbaum has written little about Galois geometry.
Pisanski has recently touched on the subject;
see Configurations in this journal (Feb. 19, 2013).

Friday, December 21, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 PM

The Moore correspondence may be regarded
as an analogy between the 35 partitions of an
8-set into two 4-sets and the 35 lines in the
finite projective space PG(3,2).

Closely related to the Moore correspondence
is a correspondence (or analogy) between the
15 2-subsets of a 6-set and the 15 points of PG(3,2).

An analogy between  the two above analogies
is supplied by the exceptional outer automorphism of S6.

The 2-subsets of a 6-set are the points of a PG(3,2),
Picturing outer automorphisms of  S6, and
A linear complex related to M24.

(Background: InscapesInscapes III: PG(2,4) from PG(3,2),
and Picturing the smallest projective 3-space.)

* For some context, see Analogies and
  "Smallest Perfect Universe" in this journal.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

 IMAGE- Google Books ad for 'Geometric Etudes in Combinatorial Mathematics,' by Alexander Soifer

IMAGE- Triangle cut into four congruent subtriangles

For remarks related by logic, see the square-triangle theorem.

For remarks related by synchronicity, see Log24 on
the above publication date,  June 15, 2010.

According to Google (and Soifer's page xix), Soifer wants to captivate
young readers.

Whether young readers should  be captivated is open to question.

"There is  such a thing as a 4-set."

Update of 9:48 the same morning—

Amazon.com says Soifer's book was published not on June 15, but on
 June 29 , 2010
(St. Peter's Day).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:21 PM

“… a finite set with  elements
is sometimes called an n-set ….”

Tesseract formed from a 4-set—

IMAGE- Tesseract.

The same 16 subsets or points can
be arranged in a 4×4 array that has,
when the array’s opposite edges are
joined together, the same adjacencies
as those of the above tesseract.

“There is  such a thing as a 4-set.”
— Saying adapted from a novel   

Update of August 12, 2012:

Figures like the above, with adjacent vertices differing in only one coordinate,
appear in a 1950 paper of H. S. M. Coxeter—

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Defining Form

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:00 AM

(Continued from Epiphany and from yesterday.)

Detail from the current American Mathematical Society homepage


Further detail, with a comparison to Dürer's magic square—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix12/120110-Donmoyer-Still-Life-Detail.jpg http://www.log24.com/log/pix12/120110-DurerSquare.jpg

The three interpenetrating planes in the foreground of Donmoyer's picture
provide a clue to the structure of the the magic square array behind them.

Group the 16 elements of Donmoyer's array into four 4-sets corresponding to the
four rows of Dürer's square, and apply the 4-color decomposition theorem.
Note the symmetry of the set of 3 line diagrams that result.

Now consider the 4-sets 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, and 13-16, and note that these
occupy the same positions in the Donmoyer square that 4-sets of
like elements occupy in the diamond-puzzle figure below—


Thus the Donmoyer array also enjoys the structural  symmetry,
invariant under 322,560 transformations, of the diamond-puzzle figure.

Just as the decomposition theorem's interpenetrating lines  explain the structure
of a 4×4 square , the foreground's interpenetrating planes  explain the structure
of a 2x2x2 cube .

For an application to theology, recall that interpenetration  is a technical term
in that field, and see the following post from last year—

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Theology for Antichristmas

— m759 @ 12:00 PM

Hypostasis (philosophy)

"… the formula 'Three Hypostases  in one Ousia '
came to be everywhere accepted as an epitome
of the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
This consensus, however, was not achieved
without some confusion…." —Wikipedia



Click for further details:



Saturday, August 6, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité….

— Baudelaire, "Correspondances "

From "A Four-Color Theorem"


Figure 1

Note that this illustrates a natural correspondence

(A) the seven highly symmetrical four-colorings
      of the 4×2 array at the left of Fig. 1, and

(B) the seven points of the smallest
      projective plane at the right of Fig. 1.

To see the correspondence, add, in binary
fashion, the pairs of projective points from the
"points" section that correspond to like-colored
squares in a four-coloring from the left of Fig. 1.
(The correspondence can, of course, be described
in terms of cosets rather than of colorings.)

A different correspondence between these 7 four-coloring
structures and these 7 projective-line structures appears in
a structural analysis of the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R.T. Curtis—


Figure 2

Here the correspondence between the 7 four-coloring structures (left section) and the 7 projective-line structures (center section) is less obvious, but more fruitful.  It yields, as shown, all of the 35 partitions of an 8-element set  (an 8-set ) into two 4-sets. The 7 four-colorings in Fig. 2 also appear in the 35 4×4 parts of the MOG that correspond, in a way indicated by Fig. 2, to the 35 8-set paritions. This larger correspondence— of 35 4×2 arrays with 35 4×4 arrays— is  the MOG, at least as it was originally defined. See The MOG, Generating the Octad Generator, and Eightfold Geometry.


For some applications of the Curtis MOG, see
(for instance) Griess's Twelve Sporadic Groups .

Monday, July 5, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"Examples are the stained-glass
  windows of knowledge." — Nabokov

Image-- Example of a group action on the set Omega of three partitions of a 4-set into two 2-sets

Related material:

Thomas Wolfe and the
Kernel of Eternity

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eightfold Geometry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Image-- The 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets

Image-- Analysis of structure of the 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets

Image-- Miracle Octad Generator of R.T. Curtis

Related web pages:

Miracle Octad Generator,
Generating the Octad Generator,
Geometry of the 4×4 Square

Related folklore:

"It is commonly known that there is a bijection between the 35 unordered triples of a 7-set [i.e., the 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets] and the 35 lines of PG(3,2) such that lines intersect if and only if the corresponding triples have exactly one element in common." –"Generalized Polygons and Semipartial Geometries," by F. De Clerck, J. A. Thas, and H. Van Maldeghem, April 1996 minicourse, example 5 on page 6

The Miracle Octad Generator may be regarded as illustrating the folklore.

Update of August 20, 2010–

For facts rather than folklore about the above bijection, see The Moore Correspondence.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday April 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Religious Art

The black monolith of
Kubrick's 2001 is, in
its way, an example
of religious art.

Black monolith, proportions 4x9

One artistic shortcoming
(or strength– it is, after
all, monolithic) of
that artifact is its
resistance to being
analyzed as a whole
consisting of parts, as
in a Joycean epiphany.

The following
figure does
allow such
  an epiphany.

A 2x4 array of squares

One approach to
 the epiphany:

"Transformations play
  a major role in
  modern mathematics."
– A biography of
Felix Christian Klein

The above 2×4 array
(2 columns, 4 rows)
 furnishes an example of
a transformation acting
on the parts of
an organized whole:

The 35 partitions of an 8-set into two 4-sets

For other transformations
acting on the eight parts,
hence on the 35 partitions, see
"Geometry of the 4×4 Square,"
as well as Peter J. Cameron's
"The Klein Quadric
and Triality" (pdf),
and (for added context)
"The Klein Correspondence,
Penrose Space-Time, and
a Finite Model

For a related structure–
  not rectangle but cube– 
see Epiphany 2008.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday March 21, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:18 PM
Finite Relativity

This afternoon I added a paragraph to The Geometry of Logic that makes it, in a way, a sequel to the webpage Finite Relativity:

"As noted previously, in Figure 2 viewed as a lattice the 16 digital labels 0000, 0001, etc., may be interpreted as naming the 16 subsets of a 4-set; in this case the partial ordering in the lattice is the structure preserved by the lattice's group of 24 automorphisms– the same automorphism group as that of the 16 Boolean connectives.  If, however, these 16 digital labels are interpreted as naming the 16 functions from a 4-set to a 2-set  (of two truth values, of two colors, of two finite-field elements, and so forth), it is not obvious that the notion of partial order is relevant.  For such a set of 16 functions, the relevant group of automorphisms may be the affine group of A mentioned above.  One might argue that each Venn diagram in Fig. 3 constitutes such a function– specifically, a mapping of four nonoverlapping regions within a rectangle to a set of two colors– and that the diagrams, considered simply as a set of two-color mappings, have an automorphism group of order larger than 24… in fact, of order 322,560.  Whether such a group can be regarded as forming part of a 'geometry of logic' is open to debate."

The epigraph to "Finite Relativity" is:

"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 added paragraph seems to fit this description.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Saturday July 20, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:13 PM

ABSTRACT: Finite projective geometry explains the surprising symmetry properties of some simple graphic designs– found, for instance, in quilts. Links are provided for applications to sporadic simple groups (via the "Miracle Octad Generator" of R. T. Curtis), to the connection between orthogonal Latin squares and projective spreads, and to symmetry of Walsh functions.
We regard the four-diamond figure D above as a 4×4 array of two-color diagonally-divided square tiles.

Let G be the group of 322,560 permutations of these 16 tiles generated by arbitrarily mixing random permutations of rows and of columns with random permutations of the four 2×2 quadrants.

THEOREM: Every G-image of D (as at right, below) has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry.


For an animated version, click here.


Some of the patterns resulting from the action of G on D have been known for thousands of years. (See Jablan, Symmetry and Ornament, Ch. 2.6.) It is perhaps surprising that the patterns' interrelationships and symmetries can be explained fully only by using mathematics discovered just recently (relative to the patterns' age)– in particular, the theory of automorphism groups of finite geometries.

Using this theory, we can summarize the patterns' properties by saying that G is isomorphic to the affine group A on the linear 4-space over GF(2) and that the 35 structures of the 840 = 35 x 24 G-images of D are isomorphic to the 35 lines in the 3-dimensional projective space over GF(2).

This can be seen by viewing the 35 structures as three-sets of line diagrams, based on the three partitions of the four-set of square two-color tiles into two two-sets, and indicating the locations of these two-sets of tiles within the 4×4 patterns. The lines of the line diagrams may be added in a binary fashion (i.e., 1+1=0). Each three-set of line diagrams sums to zero– i.e., each diagram in a three-set is the binary sum of the other two diagrams in the set. Thus, the 35 three-sets of line diagrams correspond to the 35 three-point lines of the finite projective 3-space PG(3,2).

For example, here are the line diagrams for the figures above:

Shown below are the 15 possible line diagrams resulting from row/column/quadrant permutations. These 15 diagrams may, as noted above, be regarded as the 15 points of the projective 3-space PG(3,2).

The symmetry of the line diagrams accounts for the symmetry of the two-color patterns. (A proof shows that a 2nx2n two-color triangular half-squares pattern with such line diagrams must have a 2×2 center with a symmetry, and that this symmetry must be shared by the entire pattern.)

Among the 35 structures of the 840 4×4 arrays of tiles, orthogonality (in the sense of Latin-square orthogonality) corresponds to skewness of lines in the finite projective space PG(3,2). This was stated by the author in a 1978 note. (The note apparently had little effect. A quarter-century later, P. Govaerts, D. Jungnickel, L. Storme, and J. A. Thas wrote that skew (i.e., nonintersecting) lines in a projective space seem "at first sight not at all related" to orthogonal Latin squares.)

We can define sums and products so that the G-images of D generate an ideal (1024 patterns characterized by all horizontal or vertical "cuts" being uninterrupted) of a ring of 4096 symmetric patterns. There is an infinite family of such "diamond" rings, isomorphic to rings of matrices over GF(4).

The proof uses a decomposition technique for functions into a finite field that might be of more general use.

The underlying geometry of the 4×4 patterns is closely related to the Miracle Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis– used in the construction of the Steiner system S(5,8,24)– and hence is also related to the Leech lattice, which, as Walter Feit has remarked, "is a blown up version of S(5,8,24)."

For a movable JavaScript version of these 4×4 patterns, see The Diamond 16 Puzzle.

The above is an expanded version of Abstract 79T-A37, "Symmetry invariance in a diamond ring," by Steven H. Cullinane, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1979, pages A-193, 194.

For a discussion of other cases of the theorem, click here.

Related pages:

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

Diamond Theory in 1937:
A Brief Historical Note

Notes on Finite Geometry

Geometry of the 4×4 Square

Binary Coordinate Systems

The 35 Lines of PG(3,2)

Map Systems:
Function Decomposition over a Finite Field

The Diamond Theorem–
The 2×2, the 2x2x2, the 4×4, and the 4x4x4 Cases

Diamond Theory

Latin-Square Geometry

Walsh Functions


The Diamond Theory of Truth

Geometry of the I Ching

Solomon's Cube and The Eightfold Way

Crystal and Dragon in Diamond Theory

The Form, the Pattern

The Grid of Time

Block Designs

Finite Relativity

Theme and Variations

Models of Finite Geometries

Quilt Geometry

Pattern Groups

The Fano Plane Revisualized,
or the Eightfold Cube

The Miracle Octad Generator


Visualizing GL(2,p)

Jung's Imago

Author's home page

AMS Mathematics Subject Classification:

20B25 (Group theory and generalizations :: Permutation groups :: Finite automorphism groups of algebraic, geometric, or combinatorial structures)

05B25 (Combinatorics :: Designs and configurations :: Finite geometries)

51E20 (Geometry :: Finite geometry and special incidence structures :: Combinatorial structures in finite projective spaces)

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Page created Jan. 6, 2006, by Steven H. Cullinane      diamondtheorem.com


Initial Xanga entry.  Updated Nov. 18, 2006.

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