Friday, August 16, 2013
From April 23, 2013, in
"Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry"—
Click above image for some background from 1986.
Related material on sixset geometry from the classical literature—
Baker, H. F., "Note II: On the Hexagrammum Mysticum of Pascal,"
in Principles of Geometry , Vol. II, Camb. U. Press, 1930, pp. 219236
Richmond, H. W., "The Figure Formed from Six Points in Space of Four Dimensions,"
Mathematische Annalen (1900), Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 161176
Richmond, H. W., "On the Figure of Six Points in Space of Four Dimensions,"
Quarterly Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics , Vol. 31 (1900), pp. 125160
Comments Off on SixSet Geometry
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
An illustration from the previous post may be interpreted
as an attempt to unbokeh an inscape —
The 15 lines above are Euclidean lines based on pairs within a sixset.
For examples of Galois lines so based, see SixSet Geometry:
Comments Off on Depth Psychology Meets Inscape Geometry
Sunday, December 10, 2017
See also Symplectic in this journal.
From Gotay and Isenberg, “The Symplectization of Science,”
Gazette des Mathématiciens 54, 5979 (1992):
“… what is the origin of the unusual name ‘symplectic’? ….
Its mathematical usage is due to Hermann Weyl who,
in an effort to avoid a certain semantic confusion, renamed
the then obscure ‘line complex group’ the ‘symplectic group.’
… the adjective ‘symplectic’ means ‘plaited together’ or ‘woven.’
This is wonderfully apt….”
The above symplectic figure appears in remarks on
the diamondtheorem correlation in the webpage
Rosenhain and Göpel Tetrads in PG(3,2). See also
related remarks on the notion of linear (or line ) complex
in the finite projective space PG(3,2) —
Comments Off on Geometry
Friday, April 14, 2017
The above fourelement 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 4space (or, equivalently, as lines in the corresponding finite projective
3space).
In order to view them in this way, one can view the tetrads as derived,
via the 15 twoelement subsets of a sixelement set, from the 16 elements
of the binary Galois affine space pictured above at top left.
This space is formed by taking symmetricdifference (Galois binary)
sums of the 15 twoelement subsets, and identifying any resulting four
element (or, summing three disjoint twoelement subsets, sixelement)
subsets with their complements. This process was described in my note
"The 2subsets of a 6set are the points of a PG(3,2)" of May 26, 1986.
The space was later described in the following —
Comments Off on Hudson and Finite Geometry
Friday, December 23, 2016
(Continued)
Code Blue
Update of 7:04 PM ET —
The source of the 404 message in the browsing history above
was the footnote below:
Comments Off on Memory, History, Geometry
Friday, December 16, 2016
These are Rothko's Swamps .
See a Log24 search for related meditations.
For all three topics combined, see Coxeter —
" There is a pleasantly discursive treatment
of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question
‘What is truth?’ "
— Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Trudeau’s
The NonEuclidean Revolution
Update of 10 AM ET — Related material, with an elementary example:
Posts tagged "Defining Form." The example —
Comments Off on Memory, History, Geometry
Monday, December 14, 2015
(Continued)
See a post by Peter Woit from Sept. 24, 2005 — Dirac's Hidden Geometry.
The connection, if any, with recent Log24 posts on Dirac and Geometry
is not immediately apparent. Some related remarks from a novel —
From Broken Symmetries by Paul Preuss
(first published by Simon and Schuster in 1983) —
"He pondered the source of her fascination with the occult, which sooner or later seemed to entangle a lot of thoughtful people who were not already mired in establishmentarian science or religion. It was the religious impulse, at base. Even reason itself could function as a religion, he supposed— but only for those of severely limited imagination.
He’d toyed with 'psi' himself, written a couple of papers now much quoted by crackpots, to his chagrin. The reason he and so many other theoretical physicists were suckers for the stuff was easy to understand— for twothirds of a century an enigma had rested at the heart of theoretical physics, a contradiction, a hard kernel of paradox. Quantum theory was inextricable from the uncertainty relations.
The classical fox knows many things, but the quantummechanical hedgehog knows only one big thing— at a time. 'Complementarity,' Bohr had called it, a rubbery notion the great professor had stretched to include numerous pairs of opposites. Peter Slater was willing to call it absurdity, and unlike some of his older colleagues who, following in Einstein’s footsteps, demanded causal explanations for everything (at least in principle), Peter had never thirsted after 'hidden variables' to explain what could not be pictured. Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him, mere formal relationships which existed at all times, everywhere, at once. It was a thin nectar, but he was convinced it was the nectar of the gods.
The psychic investigators, on the other hand, demanded to know how the mind and the psychical world were related. Through ectoplasm, perhaps? Some fifth force of nature? Extra dimensions of spacetime? All these naive explanations were on a par with the assumption that psi is propagated by a species of nonlocal hidden variables, the favored explanation of sophisticates; ignotum per ignotius .
'In this connection one should particularly remember that the human language permits the construction of sentences which do not involve any consequences and which therefore have no content at all…' The words were Heisenberg’s, lecturing in 1929 on the irreducible ambiguity of the uncertainty relations. They reminded Peter of Evan Harris Walker’s ingenious theory of the psi force, a theory that assigned psi both positive and negative values in such a way that the mere presence of a skeptic in the near vicinity of a sensitive psychic investigation could force null results. Neat, Dr. Walker, thought Peter Slater— neat, and totally without content.
One had to be willing to tolerate ambiguity; one had to be willing to be crazy. Heisenberg himself was only human— he’d persuasively woven ambiguity into the fabric of the universe itself, but in that same set of 1929 lectures he’d rejected Dirac’s thennew wave equations with the remark, 'Here spontaneous transitions may occur to the states of negative energy; as these have never been observed, the theory is certainly wrong.' It was a reasonable conclusion, and that was its fault, for Dirac’s equations suggested the existence of antimatter: the first antiparticles, whose existence might never have been suspected without Dirac’s crazy results, were found less than three years later.
Those socalled crazy psychics were too sane, that was their problem— they were too stubborn to admit that the universe was already more bizarre than anything they could imagine in their wildest dreams of wizardry."

Particularly relevant …
"Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him,
mere formal relationships which existed at all times,
everywhere, at once."
Some related pure mathematics —
Comments Off on Dirac and Geometry
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
See a search for "large Desargues configuration" in this journal.
The 6 Jan. 2015 preprint "Danzer's Configuration Revisited,"
by Boben, Gévay, and Pisanski, places this configuration,
which they call the CayleySalmon configuration , in the
interesting context of Pascal's Hexagrammum Mysticum .
They show how the CayleySalmon configuration is, in a sense,
dual to something they call the SteinerPlücker configuration .
This duality appears implicitly in my note of April 26, 1986,
"Picturing the smallest projective 3space." The sixsets at
the bottom of that note, together with Figures 3 and 4
of Boben et. al. , indicate how this works.
The duality was, as they note, previously described in 1898.
Related material on sixset geometry from the classical literature—
Baker, H. F., "Note II: On the Hexagrammum Mysticum of Pascal,"
in Principles of Geometry , Vol. II, Camb. U. Press, 1930, pp. 219236
Richmond, H. W., "The Figure Formed from Six Points in Space of Four Dimensions,"
Mathematische Annalen (1900), Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 161176
Richmond, H. W., "On the Figure of Six Points in Space of Four Dimensions,"
Quarterly Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics , Vol. 31 (1900), pp. 125160
Related material on sixset geometry from a more recent source —
Cullinane, Steven H., "Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry," webpage
Comments Off on Pascal’s Finite Geometry
Friday, November 27, 2015
(A Prequel to Dirac and Geometry)
"So Einstein went back to the blackboard.
And on Nov. 25, 1915, he set down
the equation that rules the universe.
As compact and mysterious as a Viking rune,
it describes spacetime as a kind of sagging mattress…."
— Dennis Overbye in The New York Times online,
November 24, 2015
Some pure mathematics I prefer to the sagging Viking mattress —
Readings closely related to the above passage —
Thomas Hawkins, "From General Relativity to Group Representations:
the Background to Weyl's Papers of 192526," in Matériaux pour
l'histoire des mathématiques au XXe siècle: Actes du colloque
à la mémoire de Jean Dieudonné, Nice, 1996 (Soc. Math.
de France, Paris, 1998), pp. 69100.
The 19thcentury algebraic theory of invariants is discussed
as what Weitzenböck called a guide "through the thicket
of formulas of general relativity."
Wallace Givens, "Tensor Coordinates of Linear Spaces," in
Annals of Mathematics Second Series, Vol. 38, No. 2, April 1937,
pp. 355385.
Tensors (also used by Einstein in 1915) are related to
the theory of line complexes in threedimensional
projective space and to the matrices used by Dirac
in his 1928 work on quantum mechanics.
For those who prefer metaphors to mathematics —
"We acknowledge a theorem's beauty
when we see how the theorem 'fits' in its place,
how it sheds light around itself, like a Lichtung ,
a clearing in the woods."
— GianCarlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts ,
Birkhäuser Boston, 1997, page 132
Rota fails to cite the source of his metaphor.
It is Heidegger's 1964 essay, "The End of Philosophy
and the Task of Thinking" —
"The forest clearing [ Lichtung ] is experienced
in contrast to dense forest, called Dickung
in our older language."
— Heidegger's Basic Writings ,
edited by David Farrell Krell,
Harper Collins paperback, 1993, page 441

Comments Off on Einstein and Geometry
Monday, November 23, 2015
Some background for my post of Nov. 20,
"Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines" —
His earlier paper that Bruins refers to, "Line Geometry
and Quantum Mechanics," is available in a free PDF.
For a biography of Bruins translated by Google, click here.
For some additional historical background going back to
Eddington, see Gary W. Gibbons, "The Kummer
Configuration and the Geometry of Majorana Spinors,"
pages 3952 in Oziewicz et al., eds., Spinors, Twistors,
Clifford Algebras, and Quantum Deformations:
Proceedings of the Second Max Born Symposium held
near Wrocław, Poland, September 1992 . (Springer, 2012,
originally published by Kluwer in 1993.)
For morerecent remarks on quantum geometry, see a
paper by Saniga cited in today's update to my Nov. 20 post.
Comments Off on Dirac and Line Geometry
Friday, April 25, 2014
Comments Off on Quilt Geometry
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The configurations recently discussed in
Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry
are not unrelated to the 27 "Solomon's Seal Lines"
extensively studied in the 19th century.
See, in particular—
The following figures supply the connection of Henderson's sixset
to the Galois geometry previously discussed in "Classical Geometry…"—
Comments Off on The SixSet
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Comments Off on Battlefield Geometry
Friday, November 9, 2012
Comments Off on Battlefield Geometry
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
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 7set [i.e., the 35 partitions of an 8set into two 4sets] 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.
Comments Off on Eightfold Geometry
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy —
“Mereology (from the Greek μερος, ‘part’) is the theory of parthood relations: of the relations of part to whole and the relations of part to part within a whole. Its roots can be traced back to the early days of philosophy, beginning with the Presocratics….”
A nonEuclidean* approach to parts–
Corresponding nonEuclidean*
projective points —
Richard J. Trudeau in The NonEuclidean Revolution, chapter on “Geometry and the Diamond Theory of Truth”–
“… Plato and Kant, and most of the philosophers and scientists in the 2200year interval between them, did share the following general presumptions:
(1) Diamonds– informative, certain truths about the world– exist.
(2) The theorems of Euclidean geometry are diamonds.
Presumption (1) is what I referred to earlier as the ‘Diamond Theory’ of truth. It is far, far older than deductive geometry.”
Trudeau’s book was published in 1987. The nonEuclidean* figures above illustrate concepts from a 1976 monograph, also called “Diamond Theory.”
Although nonEuclidean,* the theorems of the 1976 “Diamond Theory” are also, in Trudeau’s terminology, diamonds.
* “NonEuclidean” here means merely “other than Euclidean.” No violation of Euclid’s parallel postulate is implied.
Comments Off on Mere Geometry
Thursday, February 28, 2019
The two books pictured above are From Discrete to Continuous ,
by Katherine Neal, and Geometrical Landscapes , by Amir Alexander.
Note: There is no Galois (i.e., finite) field with six elements, but
the theory of finite fields underlies applications of sixset geometry.
Comments Off on Fooling
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
"The purpose of mathematics cannot be derived from an activity
inferior to it but from a higher sphere of human activity, namely,
religion."
— Igor Shafarevitch, 1973 remark published as above in 1982.
"Perhaps."
— Steven H. Cullinane, February 13, 2019
From Log24 on Good Friday, April 18, 2003 —
. . . What, indeed, is truth? I doubt that the best answer can be learned from either the Communist sympathizers of MIT or the “Red Mass” leftists of Georgetown. For a better starting point than either of these institutions, see my note of April 6, 2001, Wag the Dogma.
See, too, In Principio Erat Verbum , which notes that “numbers go to heaven who know no more of God on earth than, as it were, of sun in forest gloom.”
Since today is the anniversary of the death of MIT mathematics professor GianCarlo Rota, an example of “sun in forest gloom” seems the best answer to Pilate’s question on this holy day. See
The Shining of May 29.
“Examples are the stained glass windows
of knowledge.” — Vladimir Nabokov
AGEOMETRETOS MEDEIS EISITO
Motto of Plato’s Academy
† The Exorcist, 1973

Detail from an image linked to in the above footnote —
"And the darkness comprehended it not."
Id est :
A Good Friday, 2003, article by
a student of Shafarevitch —
"… there are 25 planes in W . . . . Of course,
replacing {a,b,c} by the complementary set
does not change the plane. . . ."
Of course.
See. however, SixSet Geometry in this journal.
Comments Off on April 18, 2003 (Good Friday), Continued
Thursday, March 29, 2018
From the Diamond Theorem Facebook page —
A question three hours ago at that page —
"Is this Time Cube?"
Notes toward an answer —
And from SixSet Geometry in this journal . . .
Comments Off on “Before Creation Itself . . .”
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Comments Off on Image Albums
Monday, May 30, 2016
(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.
Comments Off on Perfect Universe
Saturday, December 6, 2014
On the feast of Saint Nicholas
See also the six posts on this year's feast of Saint Andrew
and the following from the University of St. Andrews —
Comments Off on SixPoint Theology
Sunday, July 14, 2019
The Quantum Tesseract Theorem Revisited
From page 274 —
"The secret is that the supermathematician expresses by the anticommutation
of his operators the property which the geometer conceives as perpendicularity
of displacements. That is why on p. 269 we singled out a pentad of anticommuting
operators, foreseeing that they would have an immediate application in describing
the property of perpendicular directions without using the traditional picture of space.
They express the property of perpendicularity without the picture of perpendicularity.
Thus far we have touched only the fringe of the structure of our set of sixteen Eoperators.
Only by entering deeply into the theory of electrons could I show the whole structure
coming into evidence."
A related illustration, from posts tagged Dirac and Geometry —
Compare and contrast Eddington's use of the word "perpendicular"
with a later use of the word by Saniga and Planat.
Friday, June 21, 2019
See also "SixSet" in this journal
and "Cube Geometry Continues."
Comments Off on Cube Tales for Solstice Day
Friday, May 10, 2019
For fans of Resonance Science —
"When the men on the chessboard
get up and tell you where to go …."
Comments Off on I Ching g6
Continues.
Also from Fall Equinox 2018 — Looney Tune for Physicists —
Comments Off on Desperately Seeking Resonance
Thursday, May 9, 2019
(For other posts on the continuing triumph of entertainment
over truth, see a Log24 search for "Night at the Museum.")
See also yesterday's post When the Men and today's previous post.
Comments Off on Blade and Chalice at the Museum
Comments Off on Defense Against the Dark Arts
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
In Memoriam . . .
"When the men on the chessboard
get up and tell you where to go …."
"The I Ching encodes the geometry of the fabric of spacetime."
Sure it does.
Comments Off on When the Men
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
"The purpose of mathematics cannot be derived from an activity
inferior to it but from a higher sphere of human activity, namely,
religion."
— Igor Shafarevitch in 1973
"The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation."
— T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets
See also Ultron Cube.
Comments Off on For the First of May
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
From this journal on April 23, 2013 —
From this journal in 2003 —
From Wikipedia on Groundhog Day, 2019 —
Comments Off on Construction of PG(3,2) from K_{6}
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Some related material in this journal — See a search for k6.gif.
Some related material from Harvard —
Elkies' "15 simple transpositions" clearly correspond to the 15 edges of
the complete graph K_{6} and to the 15 2subsets of a 6set.
For the connection to PG(3,2), see Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.
The following "manifestation" of the 2subsets of a 6set might serve as
the desired Wikipedia citation —
See also the above 1986 construction of PG(3,2) from a 6set
in the work of other authors in 1994 and 2002 . . .

GonzalezDorrego, Maria R. (Maria del Rosario),
(16,6) Configurations and Geometry of Kummer Surfaces in P^{3}.
American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 1994.

Dolgachev, Igor, and Keum, JongHae,
"Birational Automorphisms of Quartic Hessian Surfaces."
Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 354 (2002), 30313057.
Comments Off on Citation
Monday, February 25, 2019
". . . this notion of ‘depth’ is an elusive one
even for a mathematician who can recognize it. . . ."
— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology
See SixSet in this journal.
Comments Off on The Deep Six
See posts tagged depth.
See as well Eddington Song and the previous post.
Comments Off on “Far from the shallow now”
Monday, February 18, 2019
__________________________________________________________________________
See also the previous post.
I prefer the work of Josefine Lyche on the smallest perfect number/universe.
Context —
Lyche's Lynx760 installations and Vigeland's nearby Norwegian clusterfuck.
Comments Off on The Joy of Six
Saturday, December 22, 2018
The following are some notes on the history of Clifford algebras
and finite geometry suggested by the "Clifford Modules" link in a
Log24 post of March 12, 2005 —
A more recent appearance of the configuration —
Comments Off on CremonaRichmond
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Some images, and a definition, suggested by my remarks here last night
on Apollo and Ross Douthat's remarks today on "The Return of Paganism" —
In finite geometry and combinatorics,
an inscape is a 4×4 array of square figures,
each figure picturing a subset of the overall 4×4 array:
Related material — the phrase
"Quantum Tesseract Theorem" and …
A. An image from the recent
film "A Wrinkle in Time" —
B. A quote from the 1962 book —
"There's something phoney
in the whole setup, Meg thought.
There is definitely something rotten
in the state of Camazotz."
Comments Off on An Inscape for Douthat
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Update of Nov. 19 —
"Design is how it works." — Steve Jobs
See also www.cullinane.design.
Comments Off on Space Music
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Yesterday afternoon's post "Study in Blue and Pink" featured
an image related to the "Blade and Chalice" of Dan Brown …
Requiem for a comics character known as "The Blue Blade" —
"We all float down here."
About the corresponding "Pink Chalice," the less said the better.
Comments Off on For Connoisseurs of Bad Art
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Related Log24 posts — See Blade + Chalice.
Comments Off on Study in Blue and Pink
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
See some posts related to three names
associated with Trinity College, Cambridge —
Atiyah + Shaw + Eddington .
Comments Off on Trinity
Saturday, September 1, 2018
The date of Ron Shaw's 2016 death appears to be June 21:
All other Internet sources I have seen omit the June 21 date.
This journal on that date —
Comments Off on Ron Shaw — D. 21 June 2016
Monday, August 27, 2018
From the former date above —
Saturday, September 17, 2016

From the latter date above —
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The term "parametrization," as discussed in Wikipedia, seems useful for describing labelings that are not, at least at first glance, of a vectorspace nature.
Examples: The labelings of a 4×4 array by a blank space plus the 15 twosubsets of a sixset (Hudson, 1905) or by a blank plus the 5 elements and the 10 twosubsets of a fiveset (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 vectorspace coordinates. He describes it as simply a mapping to a set of reproducible symbols .
(But Weyl does imply that these symbols should, like vectorspace coordinates, admit a group of transformations among themselves that can be used to describe transformations of the pointspace being coordinatized.)

From March 2018 —
Comments Off on Children of the Six Sides
Monday, March 12, 2018
Remarks related to a recent film and a notsorecent film.
For some historical background, see Dirac and Geometry in this journal.
Also (as Thas mentions) after Saniga and Planat —
The SanigaPlanat paper was submitted on December 21, 2006.
Excerpts from this journal on that date —
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
Comments Off on “Quantum Tesseract Theorem?”
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Michael Atiyah on the late Ron Shaw —
Phrases by Atiyah related to the importance in mathematics
of the twoelement Galois field GF(2) —

"The digital revolution based on the 2 symbols (0,1)"

"The algebra of George Boole"

"Binary codes"

"Dirac's spinors, with their up/down dichotomy"
These phrases are from the yearend review of Trinity College,
Cambridge, Trinity Annual Record 2017 .
I prefer other, purely geometric, reasons for the importance of GF(2) —

The 2×2 square

The 2x2x2 cube

The 4×4 square

The 4x4x4 cube
See Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.
See also today's earlier post God's Dice and Atiyah on the theology of
(Boolean) algebra vs. (Galois) geometry:
Comments Off on The Binary Revolution
On a Trinity classmate of Ian Macdonald (see previous post)—
Atiyah's eulogy of Shaw in Trinity Annual Record 2017
is on pages 137 through 146. The conclusion —
Comments Off on God’s Dice
Friday, February 2, 2018
"Plato's allegory of the cave describes prisoners,
inhabiting the cave since childhood, immobile,
facing an interior wall. A large ﬁre burns behind
the prisoners, and as people pass this ﬁre their
shadows are cast upon the cave's wall, and
these shadows of the activity being played out
behind the prisoner become the only version of
reality that the prisoner knows."
— From the Occupy Space gallery in Ireland
Comments Off on For Plato’s Cave
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The title refers to today's earlier post "The 35Year Wait."
A check of my activities 35 years ago this fall, in the autumn
of 1982, yields a formula I prefer to the nonsensical, but famous,
"canonical formula" of Claude LéviStrauss.
The LéviStrauss formula —
My "inscape" formula, from a note of Sept. 22, 1982 —
S = f ( f ( X ) ) .
Some mathematics from last year related to the 1982 formula —
See also Inscape in this journal and posts tagged Dirac and Geometry.
Comments Off on Another 35Year Wait
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
"Truth and clarity remained his paramount goals…"
— Benedict Nightingale in today's online New York TImes on an
English theatre director, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company,
who reportedly died yesterday at 86.
See also Paramount in this journal.
Comments Off on Goals
Monday, September 11, 2017
A sentence from the New York Times Wire discussed in the previous post —
"Through characters like Wolverine and Swamp Thing,
he helped bring a new depth to his art form."
For Wolverine and Swamp Thing in posts related to a different
art form — geometry — see …
Comments Off on New Depth
Monday, June 26, 2017
This post was suggested by the previous post — Four Dots —
and by the phrase "smallest perfect" in this journal.
Related material (click to enlarge) —
Detail —
From the work of Eddington cited in 1974 by von Franz —
See also Dirac and Geometry and Kummer in this journal.
Updates from the morning of June 27 —
Ron Shaw on Eddington's triads "associated in conjugate pairs" —
For more about hyperbolic and isotropic lines in PG(3,2),
see posts tagged Diamond Theorem Correlation.
For Shaw, in memoriam — See Contrapuntal Interweaving and The Fugue.
Comments Off on Upgrading to Six
Thursday, May 25, 2017
A post of March 22, 2017, was titled "The Story of Six."
Related material from that date —
"I meant… a larger map." — Number Six in "The Prisoner"
Comments Off on The Story of Six Continues
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
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 —
From the April 24 evening post The Trials of Device —
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.
Comments Off on A Tale Unfolded
Sunday, March 26, 2017
From a search in this journal for Seagram + Tradition —
Related art: Saturday afternoon's Twin Pillars of Symmetry.
Comments Off on Seagram Studies
Saturday, March 25, 2017
The phrase "twin pillars" in a New York Times Fashion & Style
article today suggests a look at another pair of pillars —
This pair, from the realm of memory, history, and geometry disparaged
by the late painter Mark Rothko, might be viewed by Rothko
as "parodies of ideas (which are ghosts)." (See the previous post.)
For a relationship between a 3dimensional simplex and the {4, 3, 3},
see my note from May 21, 2014, on the tetrahedron and the tesseract.
Comments Off on Twin Pillars of Symmetry
… Continued from April 11, 2016, and from …
A tribute to Rothko suggested by the previous post —
For the idea of Rothko's obstacles, see Hexagram 39 in this journal.
Comments Off on Like Decorations in a Cartoon Graveyard
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
On a psychotherapist who died at 86 on Monday —
"He studied mathematics and statistics at the Courant Institute,
a part of New York University — he would later write … a
mathematical fable, Numberland (1987)."
— The New York Times online this evening
This wry parable by a psychotherapist contains one basic message: though death is inevitable, each moment in life is to be cherished. In the orderly but sterile kingdom of Numberland, digits live together harmoniously under a rigid president called The Professor. Their stable society is held intact by the firm conviction that they are immortal: When has a number ever died? This placid universe is plunged into chaos when the inquisitive hero SIX crosses over into the human world and converses with a young mathematician. This supposedly impossible transition convinces the ruling hierarchy that if SIX can talk to a mortal, then the rest of the numbers are, after all, mortal. The digits conclude that any effort or achievement is pointless in the face of inevitable death, and the cipher society breaks down completely. The solution? Banish SIX to the farthest corners of kingdom. Weinberg (The Heart of Psychotherapy ) uses his fable to gently satirize the military, academics, politicians and, above all, psychiatrists. But his tale is basically inspirational; a triumphant SIX miraculously returns from exile and quells the turmoil by showing his fellow digits that knowledge of one's mortality should enrich all other experiences and that death ultimately provides a frame for the magnificent picture that is life.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

See also The Prisoner in this journal.
Comments Off on The Story of Six
Friday, February 3, 2017
Personally, I prefer
the religious symbolism
of Hudson Hawk .
Comments Off on Raiders of the Lost Chalice
Sunday, December 25, 2016
See also Robert M. Pirsig in this journal on Dec. 26, 2012.
Comments Off on Credit Where Due
Saturday, December 24, 2016
In memory of an American artist whose work resembles that of
the Soviet constructivist Karl Ioganson (c. 18901929).
The American artist reportedly died on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016.
"In fact, the (re)discovery of this novel structural principle was made in 194849 by a young American artist whom Koleichuk also mentions, Kenneth Snelson. In the summer of 1948, Snelson had gone to study with Joseph Albers who was then teaching at Black Mountain College. . . . One of the first works he made upon his return home was Early X Piece which he dates to December 1948 . . . . "
— "In the Laboratory of Constructivism:
Karl Ioganson's Cold Structures,"
by Maria Gough, OCTOBER Magazine, MIT,
Issue 84, Spring 1998, pp. 91117

The word "constructivism" also refers to a philosophy of mathematics.
See a Log24 post, "Constructivist Witness," of 1 AM ET on the above
date of death.
Comments Off on Early X Piece
Thursday, December 22, 2016
See also, from the above publication date, Hudson's Inscape.
The inscape is illustrated in posts now tagged Laughing Academy.
Comments Off on The LaughHospital
The title refers to a philosophy of mathematics.
For those who prefer metaphor… Folk Etymology.
See also Stages of Math at Princeton's
Institute for Advanced Study in March 2013 —
— and in this journal starting in August 2014.
Comments Off on Constructivist Witness
Monday, December 19, 2016
See also all posts now tagged Memory, History, Geometry.
Comments Off on ART WARS
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.
Comments Off on Tetrahedral CayleySalmon Model
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Click image to enlarge.
See also the large Desargues configuration in this journal.
Comments Off on Two Models of the Small Desargues Configuration
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Continuing the "Memory, History, Geometry" theme
from yesterday …
See Tetrahedral, Oblivion, and Tetrahedral Oblivion.
"Welcome home, Jack."
Comments Off on Tetrahedral Death Star
Friday, December 16, 2016
Comments Off on Read Something That Means Something
"… you don’t write off an aging loved one
just because he or she becomes cranky."
— Peter Schjeldahl on Rothko in The New Yorker ,
issue dated December 19 & 26, 2016, page 27
He was cranky in his forties too —
See Rothko + Swamp in this journal.
Related attitude —
From Subway Art for Times Square Church , Nov. 7
Comments Off on Rothko’s Swamps
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
John Updike on Don DeLillo's thirteenth novel, Cosmopolis —
" DeLillo’s postChristian search for 'an order at some deep level'
has brought him to global computerization:
'the zerooneness of the world, the digital imperative . . . . ' "
— The New Yorker , issue dated March 31, 2003
On that date ….
Related remark —
" There is a pleasantly discursive treatment
of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question
‘What is truth?’ "
— Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Trudeau’s
The NonEuclidean Revolution
Comments Off on The Thirteenth Novel
Saturday, December 10, 2016
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.
Comments Off on Folk Etymology
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The term "parametrization," as discussed in Wikipedia,
seems useful for describing labelings that are not, at least
at first glance, of a vectorspace nature.
Examples: The labelings of a 4×4 array by a blank space
plus the 15 twosubsets of a sixset (Hudson, 1905) or by a
blank plus the 5 elements and the 10 twosubsets of a fiveset
(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 vectorspace coordinates. He describes it
as simply a mapping to a set of reproducible symbols .
(But Weyl does imply that these symbols should, like vectorspace
coordinates, admit a group of transformations among themselves
that can be used to describe transformations of the pointspace
being coordinatized.)
Comments Off on Parametrization
Thursday, September 15, 2016
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.
Comments Off on The Smallest Perfect Number/Universe
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The previous post discussed the parametrization of
the 4×4 array as a vector 4space over the 2element
Galois field GF(2).
The 4×4 array may also be parametrized by the symbol
0 along with the fifteen 2subsets of a 6set, 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 2element 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:
Click images for further details.
Comments Off on Parametrizing the 4×4 Array
Monday, September 12, 2016
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 4space 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 M_{24 }"
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 twosubsets of a sixset. See the post of Sept. 13.
Comments Off on The Kummer Lattice
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The following passage by Igor Dolgachev (Good Friday, 2003)
seems somewhat relevant (via its connection to Kummer's 16_{6} )
to previous remarks here on Dirac matrices and geometry —
Note related remarks from E. M. Bruins in 1959 —
Comments Off on Group Elements and Skew Lines
Friday, June 3, 2016
A review of some recent posts on Dirac and geometry,
each of which mentions the late physicist Hendrik van Dam:
The first of these posts mentions the work of E. M. Bruins.
Some earlier posts that cite Bruins:
Comments Off on Bruins and van Dam
Monday, May 30, 2016
"Ageometretos me eisito."—
"Let no one ignorant of geometry enter."—
Said to be a saying of Plato, part of the
seal of the American Mathematical Society—
For the birthday of Marissa Mayer, who turns 41 today —
VOGUE Magazine,
AUGUST 16, 2013 12:01 AM
by JACOB WEISBERG —
"As she works to reverse the fortunes of a failing Silicon Valley
giant, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has fueled a national debate
about the office life, motherhood, and what it takes to be the
CEO of the moment.
'I really like even numbers, and
I like heavily divisible numbers.
Twelve is my lucky number—
I just love how divisible it is.
I don’t like odd numbers, and
I really don’t like primes.
When I turned 37,
I put on a strong face, but
I was not looking forward to 37.
But 37 turned out to be a pretty amazing year.
Especially considering that
36 is divisible by twelve!'
A few things may strike you while listening to Marissa Mayer
deliver this riff . . . . "
Yes, they may.
A smaller number for Marissa's meditations:
Six has been known since antiquity as the first "perfect" number.
Why it was so called is of little interest to anyone but historians
of number theory (a discipline that is not, as Wikipedia notes,
to be confused with numerology .)
What part geometry , on the other hand, played in Marissa's education,
I do not know.
Here, for what it's worth, is a figure from a review of posts in this journal
on the key role played by the number six in geometry —
Comments Off on Perfect Number
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
"Studies of spin½ theories in the framework of projective geometry
have been undertaken before." — Y. Jack Ng and H. van Dam,
February 20, 2009
For one such framework,* see posts from that same date
four years earlier — February 20, 2005.
* A 4×4 array. See the 1977, 1978, and 1986 versions by
Steven H. Cullinane, the 1987 version by R. T. Curtis, and
the 1988 ConwaySloane version illustrated below —
Cullinane, 1977
Cullinane, 1978
Cullinane, 1986
Curtis, 1987
Update of 10:42 PM ET on Sunday, June 19, 2016 —
The above images are precursors to …
Conway and Sloane, 1988
Update of 10 AM ET Sept. 16, 2016 — The excerpt from the
1977 "Diamond Theory" article was added above.
Comments Off on Framework
From "Projective Geometry and PTSymmetric Dirac Hamiltonian,"
Y. Jack Ng and H. van Dam,
Physics Letters B , Volume 673, Issue 3,
23 March 2009, Pages 237–239
(http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.2579v2, last revised Feb. 20, 2009)
" Studies of spin½ theories in the framework of projective geometry
have been undertaken before. See, e.g., Ref. [4]. ^{1 }"
" ^{1} These papers are rather mathematical and technical.
The authors of the first two papers discuss the Dirac equation
in terms of the PluckerKlein correspondence between lines of
a threedimensional projective space and points of a quadric
in a fivedimensional projective space. The last paper shows
that the Dirac equation bears a certain relation to Kummer’s
surface, viz., the structure of the Dirac ring of matrices is
related to that of Kummer’s 16_{6} configuration . . . ."
[4]
O. Veblen
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA , 19 (1933), p. 503
Full Text via CrossRef
E.M. Bruins
Proc. Nederl. Akad. Wetensch. , 52 (1949), p. 1135
F.C. Taylor Jr., Master thesis, University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill (1968), unpublished
A remark of my own on the structure of Kummer’s 16_{6} configuration . . . .
See that structure in this journal, for instance —
See as well yesterday morning's post.
Comments Off on Kummer and Dirac
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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 manyfaceted 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 4space over
the twoelement 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)
Göpel tetrads as 15 of the 35 projective lines in PG(3,2)
Related terminology describing the Göpel tetrads above
Comments Off on Rosenhain and Göpel Revisited
Monday, February 8, 2016
Related material — Posts tagged Dirac and Geometry.
For an example of what Eddington calls "an open mind,"
see the 1958 letters of Nanavira Thera.
(Among the "Early Letters" in Seeking the Path ).
Comments Off on A Game with Four Letters
Saturday, November 21, 2015
For the title phrase, see Encyclopedia of Mathematics .
The zero system illustrated in the previous post*
should not be confused with the cinematic Zero Theorem .
* More precisely, in the part showing the 15 lines fixed under
a zerosystem polarity in PG(3,2). For the zero system
itself, see diamondtheorem correlation.
Comments Off on The Zero System
Friday, November 20, 2015
(Continued from November 13)
The work of Ron Shaw in this area, ca. 19941995, does not
display explicitly the correspondence between anticommutativity
in the set of Dirac matrices and skewness in a line complex of
PG(3,2), the projective 3space over the 2element Galois field.
Here is an explicit picture —
References:
Arfken, George B., Mathematical Methods for Physicists , Third Edition,
Academic Press, 1985, pages 213214
Cullinane, Steven H., Notes on Groups and Geometry, 19781986
Shaw, Ron, "Finite Geometry, Dirac Groups, and the Table of
Real Clifford Algebras," undated article at ResearchGate.net
Update of November 23:
See my post of Nov. 23 on publications by E. M. Bruins
in 1949 and 1959 on Dirac matrices and line geometry,
and on another author who gives some historical background
going back to Eddington.
Some morerecent related material from the Slovak school of
finite geometry and quantum theory —
The matrices underlying the Saniga paper are those of Pauli, not
those of Dirac, but these two sorts of matrices are closely related.
Comments Off on Anticommuting Dirac Matrices as Skew Lines
Thursday, November 19, 2015
For the connection of the title, see the post of Friday, November 13th, 2015.
For the essentials of this connection, see the following two documents —
Comments Off on Highlights of the DiracMathieu Connection
Friday, November 13, 2015
Note that the six anticommuting sets of Dirac matrices listed by Arfken
correspond exactly to the six spreads in the above complex of 15 projective
lines of PG(3,2) fixed under a symplectic polarity (the diamond theorem
correlation ). As I noted in 1986, this correlation underlies the Miracle
Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis, hence also the large Mathieu group.
References:
Arfken, George B., Mathematical Methods for Physicists , Third Edition,
Academic Press, 1985, pages 213214
Cullinane, Steven H., Notes on Groups and Geometry, 19781986
Related material:
The 6set in my 1986 note above also appears in a 1996 paper on
the sixteen Dirac matrices by David M. Goodmanson —
Background reading:
Ron Shaw on finite geometry, Clifford algebras, and Dirac groups
(undated compilation of publications from roughly 19941995)—
Comments Off on A Connection between the 16 Dirac Matrices and the Large Mathieu Group
Thursday, March 26, 2015
The incidences of points and planes in the
Möbius 8_{4 } configuration (8 points and 8 planes,
with 4 points on each plane and 4 planes on each point),
were described by Coxeter in a 1950 paper.*
A table from Monday's post summarizes Coxeter's
remarks, which described the incidences in
spatial terms, with the points and planes as the vertices
and faceplanes of two mutually inscribed tetrahedra —
Monday's post, "Gallucci's Möbius Configuration,"
may not be completely intelligible unless one notices
that Coxeter has drawn some of the intersections in his
Fig. 24, a schematic representation of the pointplane
incidences, as dotless, and some as hollow dots. The figure,
"Gallucci's version of Möbius's 8_{4}," is shown below.
The hollow dots, representing the 8 points (as opposed
to the 8 planes ) of the configuration, are highlighted in blue.
Here a plane (represented by a dotless intersection) contains
the four points that are represented in the square array as lying
in the same row or same column as the plane.
The above Möbius incidences appear also much earlier in
Coxeter's paper, in figures 6 and 5, where they are shown
as describing the structure of a hypercube.
In figures 6 and 5, the dotless intersections representing
planes have been replaced by solid dots. The hollow dots
have again been highlighted in blue.
Figures 6 and 5 demonstrate the fact that adjacency in the set of
16 vertices of a hypercube is isomorphic to adjacency in the set
of 16 subsquares of a square 4×4 array, provided that opposite
sides of the array are identified, as in Fig. 6. The digits in
Coxeter's labels above may be viewed as naming the positions
of the 1's in (0,1) vectors (x_{4}, x_{3}, x_{2}, x_{1}) over the twoelement
Galois field.^{†} In that context, the 4×4 array may be called, instead
of a Möbius hypercube , a Galois tesseract .
* "SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs,"
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society,
Vol. 56 (1950), pp. 413455
^{†} The subscripts' usual 1234 order is reversed as a reminder
that such a vector may be viewed as labeling a binary number
from 0 through 15, or alternately as labeling a polynomial in
the 16element Galois field GF(2^{4}). See the Log24 post
Vector Addition in a Finite Field (Jan. 5, 2013).
Comments Off on The Möbius Hypercube
Monday, March 23, 2015
From H. S. M. Coxeter's 1950 paper
"SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs,"
a 4×4 array and a more perspicuous rearrangement—
(Click image to enlarge.)
The above rearrangement brings Coxeter's remarks into accord
with the webpage The Galois Tesseract.
Update of Thursday, March 26, 2015 —
For an explanation of Coxeter's Fig. 24, see Thursday's later
post titled "The Möbius Hypercube."
Comments Off on Gallucci’s Möbius Configuration
Sunday, August 24, 2014
In the Miracle Octad Generator (MOG):
The above details from a onepage note of April 26, 1986, refer to the
Miracle Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis, as it was published in 1976:
From R. T. Curtis (1976). A new combinatorial approach to M_{24},
Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society ,
79, pp 2542. doi:10.1017/S0305004100052075.
The 1986 note assumed that the reader would be able to supply, from the
MOG itself, the missing top row of each heavy brick.
Note that the interchange of the two squares in the top row of each
heavy brick induces the diamondtheorem correlation.
Note also that the 20 pictured 3subsets of a 6set in the 1986 note
occur as paired complements in two pictures, each showing 10 of the
3subsets.
This pair of pictures corresponds to the 20 Rosenhain tetrads among
the 35 lines of PG(3,2), while the picture showing the 2subsets
corresponds to the 15 Göpel tetrads among the 35 lines.
See Rosenhain and Göpel tetrads in PG(3,2). Some further background:
Comments Off on Symplectic Structure…
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Some background for the part of the 2002 paper by Dolgachev and Keum
quoted here on January 17, 2014 —
Related material in this journal (click image for posts) —
Comments Off on Symplectic Structure continued
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Shown below is the matrix Omega from notes of Richard Evan Schwartz.
See also earlier versions (19761979) by Steven H. Cullinane.
Backstory: The Schwartz Notes (June 1, 2011), and Schwartz on
the American Mathematical Society's current home page:
(Click to enlarge.)
Comments Off on The Omega Matrix
Thursday, July 31, 2014
The title phrase (not to be confused with the film 'The Zero Theorem')
means, according to the Encyclopedia of Mathematics,
a null system , and
"A null system is also called null polarity,
a symplectic polarity or a symplectic correlation….
it is a polarity such that every point lies in its own
polar hyperplane."
See Reinhold Baer, "Null Systems in Projective Space,"
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 51
(1945), pp. 903906.
An example in PG(3,2), the projective 3space over the
twoelement Galois field GF(2):
See also the 10 AM ET post of Sunday, June 8, 2014, on this topic.
Comments Off on Zero System
Friday, March 21, 2014
See also a Log24 post on this subject from Dec. 14, 2013,
especially (scroll down) the update of March 9, 2014.
Related material on the TurynCurtis construction
from the University of Cambridge —
— Slide by “Dr. Parker” — Apparently Richard A. Parker —
Lecture 4, “Discovering M_{24},” in slides for lectures 18 from lectures
at Cambridge in 20102011 on “Sporadic and Related Groups.”
See also the Parker lectures of 20122013 on the same topic.
A third construction of Curtis’s 35 4×6 1976 MOG arrays would use
Cullinane’s analysis of the 4×4 subarrays’ affine and projective structure,
and point out the fact that Conwell’s 1910 correspondence of the 35
4+4partitions of an 8set with the 35 lines of the projective 3space
over the 2element field, PG(3, 2), is essentially the same correspondence
as that constituting Curtis’s 1976 MOG.
See The Diamond Theorem, Finite Relativity, Galois Space,
Generating the Octad Generator, and The Klein Correspondence.
Update of March 22March 23 —
Adding together as (0,1)matrices over GF(2) the black parts (black
squares as 1’s, all other squares as 0’s) of the 35 4×6 arrays of the 1976
Curtis MOG would then reveal* the symmetric role played in octads
by what Curtis called the heavy brick , and so reveal also the action of
S_{3} on the three Curtis bricks that leaves invariant the set of all 759
octads of the S(5, 8, 24) constructed from the 35 MOG arrays. For more
details of this “byhand” construction, see Geometry of the 4×4 Square.
For the mathematical properties of the S(5, 8, 24), it is convenient to
have a separate construction, not by hand (such as Turyn’s), of the
extended binary Golay code. See the Brouwer preprint quoted above.
* “Then a miracle occurs,” as in the classic 1977 Sidney Harris cartoon.
Illustration of array addition from March 23 —
Comments Off on Three Constructions of the Miracle Octad Generator
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Click image for more details.
To enlarge image, click here.
Comments Off on Classical Galois
Thursday, February 6, 2014
For the late mathematics educator Zoltan Dienes.
"There comes a time when the learner has identified
the abstract content of a number of different games
and is practically crying out for some sort of picture
by means of which to represent that which has been
gleaned as the common core of the various activities."
— Article by "Melanie" at Zoltan Dienes's website
Dienes reportedly died at 97 on Jan. 11, 2014.
From this journal on that date —
A star figure and the Galois quaternion.
The square root of the former is the latter.
Update of 5:01 PM ET Feb. 6, 2014 —
An illustration by Dienes related to the diamond theorem —
See also the above 15 images in …
… and versions of the 4×4 coordinatization in The 4×4 Relativity Problem
(Jan. 17, 2014).
Comments Off on The Representation of Minus One
Friday, January 17, 2014
The sixteendot square array in yesterday’s noon post suggests
the following remarks.
“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 Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977—
The 1977 matrix Q is echoed in the following from 2002—
A different representation of Cullinane’s 1977 square model of the
16point affine geometry over the twoelement Galois field GF(2)
is supplied by Conway and Sloane in Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups
(first published in 1988) :
Here a, b, c, d are basis vectors in the vector 4space over GF(2).
(For a 1979 version of this vector space, see AMS Abstract 79TA37.)
See also a 2011 publication of the Mathematical Association of America —
Comments Off on The 4×4 Relativity Problem
Saturday, December 21, 2013
The title is taken from a book for ages 812 published
on Shakespeare's birthday, April 23, 2013.
Also from that date, a note for older readers—
… Half a dozen of the other —
For further context, see all posts for the cruelest month of this past year.
* Secrets : A sometimes dangerous word.
Comments Off on House of Secrets*
Friday, December 20, 2013
(On His Dies Natalis )…
An Exceptional Isomorphism Between Geometric and
Combinatorial Steiner Triple Systems Underlies
the Octads of the M_{24} Steiner System S(5, 8, 24).
This is asserted in an excerpt from…
"The smallest nonrank 3 strongly regular graphs
which satisfy the 4vertex condition"
by Mikhail Klin, Mariusz Meszka, Sven Reichard, and Alex Rosa,
BAYREUTHER MATHEMATISCHE SCHRIFTEN 73 (2005), 152212—
(Click for clearer image)
Note that Theorem 46 of Klin et al. describes the role
of the Galois tesseract in the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis (original 1976 version). The tesseract
(a 4×4 array) supplies the geometric part of the above
exceptional geometriccombinatorial isomorphism.
Comments Off on For Emil Artin
Monday, October 14, 2013
Heraclitus, Fragment 60 (Diels number):
See also Blade and Chalice and, for a less Faustian
approach, Universe of Discourse.
Further context: Not Theology.
Comments Off on Up and Down
Saturday, September 21, 2013
The Kummer 16_{6} configuration is the configuration of sixteen
6sets within a 4×4 square array of points in which each 6set
is determined by one of the 16 points of the array and
consists of the 3 other points in that point's row and the
3 other points in that point's column.
See Configurations and Squares.
The Wikipedia article Kummer surface uses a rather poetic
phrase* to describe the relationship of the 16_{6} to a number
of other mathematical concepts — "geometric incarnation."
Related material from finitegeometry.org —
* Apparently from David Lehavi on March 18, 2007, at Citizendium .
Comments Off on Geometric Incarnation
Thursday, September 5, 2013
(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 3space." The affine 4space
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
nonisotropic 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)."
Comments Off on Moonshine II
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
A useful article on finite geometry,
"21 – 6 = 15: A Connection between Two Distinguished Geometries,"
by Albrecht Beutelspacher, American Mathematical Monthly ,
Vol. 93, No. 1, January 1986, pp. 2941, is available for purchase
at JSTOR.
This article is related to the geometry of the sixset.
For some background, see remarks from 1986 at finitegeometry.org.
Comments Off on The 21
Friday, July 5, 2013
Short Story — (Click image for some details.)
Parts of a longer story —
The Galois Tesseract and Priority.
Comments Off on Mathematics and Narrative (continued)
Monday, June 10, 2013
Today's previous post on coordinate systems
suggests a look at the phrase "Galois coordinates."
A search shows that the phrase, though natural,
has apparently not been used before 2011* for solutions
to what Hermann Weyl called "the relativity problem."
A thorough historical essay on Galois coordinatization
in this sense would require more academic resources
than I have available. It would likely describe a number
of applications of Galoisfield coordinates to square
(and perhaps to cubical) arrays that were studied before
1976, the date of my Diamond Theory monograph.
But such a survey might not find any such pre1976
coordinatization of a 4×4 array by the 16 elements
of the vector 4space over the Galois field with two
elements, GF(2).
Such coordinatizations are important because of their
close relationship to the Mathieu group M _{24 }.
See a preprint by Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland,
"The overarching finite symmetry group of Kummer
surfaces in the Mathieu group M _{24} ," with its remark
denying knowledge of any such coordinatization
prior to a 1989 paper by R. T. Curtis.
Related material:
Some images related to Galois coordinates, excerpted
from a Google search today (click to enlarge)—
* A rather abstract 2011 paper that uses the phrase
"Galois coordinates" may have some implications
for the naive form of the relativity problem
related to square and cubical arrays.
Comments Off on Galois Coordinates
Saturday, June 1, 2013
"What we do may be small, but it has
a certain character of permanence."
— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology
The diamond theorem group, published without acknowledgment
of its source by the Mathematical Association of America in 2011—
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
The hypercube model of the 4space over the 2element Galois field GF(2):
The phrase Galois tesseract may be used to denote a different model
of the above 4space: the 4×4 square.
MacWilliams and Sloane discussed the Miracle Octad Generator
(MOG) of R. T. Curtis further on in their book (see below), but did not
seem to realize in 1977 that the 4×4 structures within the MOG are
based on the Galoistesseract model of the 4space over GF(2).
The thirtyfive 4×4 structures within the MOG:
Curtis himself first described these 35 square MOG patterns
combinatorially, (as his title indicated) rather than
algebraically or geometrically:
A later book coauthored by Sloane, first published in 1988,
did recognize the 4×4 MOG patterns as based on the 4×4
Galoistesseract model.
Between the 1977 and 1988 Sloane books came the diamond theorem.
Update of May 29, 2013:
The Galois tesseract appeared in an early form in the journal
Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977
(the year the above MacWilliamsSloane book was first published):
Comments Off on Codes
Sunday, May 19, 2013
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 F_{2}^{4} built on I \ O_{9}. 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 \ O_{9}."
[Cur89] reference:
R. T. Curtis, "Further elementary techniques using
the miracle octad generator," Proc. Edinburgh
Math. Soc. 32 (1989), 345353 (received on
July 20, 1987).
— Anne Taormina and Katrin Wendland,
"The overarching finite symmetry group of Kummer
surfaces in the Mathieu group M _{24 },"
arXiv.org > hepth > 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).
Comments Off on Priority Claim
Sunday, April 28, 2013
… And the history of geometry —
Desargues, Pascal, Brianchon and Galois
in the light of complete npoints in space.
(Rewritten for clarity at about 10 AM ET April 29, with quote from Dowling added.
Updated with a reference to a Veblen and Young exercise (on p. 53) on April 30.)
Veblen and Young, Projective Geometry, Vol. I ,
Ginn and Company, 1910, page 39:
"The Desargues configuration. A very important configuration
is obtained by taking the plane section of a complete space fivepoint."
Each of figures 14 and 15 above has 15 points and 20 lines.
The Desargues configuration within each figure is denoted by
10 white points and 10 solid lines, with 3 points on each line and
3 lines on each point. Black points and dashed lines indicate the
complete space fivepoint and lines connecting it to the plane section
containing the Desargues configuration.
In a 1915 University of Chicago doctoral thesis, Archibald Henderson
used a complete space six point to construct a configuration of
15 points and 20 lines in the context not of Desargues ' theorem, but
rather of Brianchon 's theorem and of the Pascal hexagram.
Henderson's 1915 configuration is, it turns out, isomorphic to that of
the 15 points and 20 lines in the configuration constructed via a
complete space five point five years earlier by Veblen and Young.
(See, in Veblen and Young's 1910 Vol. I, exercise 11, page 53:
"A plane section of a 6point in space can be considered as
3 triangles perspective in pairs from 3 collinear points with
corresponding sides meeting in 3 collinear points." This is the
large Desargues configuration. See Classical Geometry in Light of
Galois Geometry.)
For this large Desargues configuration see April 19.
For Henderson's complete six –point, see The SixSet (April 23).
That post ends with figures relating the large Desargues configuration
to the Galois geometry PG(3,2) that underlies the Curtis
Miracle Octad Generator and the large Mathieu group M_{24} —
See also Note on the MOG Correspondence from April 25, 2013.
That correspondence was also discussed in a note 28 years ago, on this date in 1985.
Comments Off on The Octad Generator
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Some historical background for today's note on the geometry
underlying the Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG):
The above incidence diagram recalls those in today's previous post
on the MOG, which is used to construct the large Mathieu group M_{24}.
For some related material that is more uptodate, search the Web
for Mathieu + Kummer .
Comments Off on Rosenhain and Göpel Revisited
In light of the April 23 post "The SixSet,"
the caption at the bottom of a note of April 26, 1986
seems of interest:
"The R. T. Curtis correspondence between the 35 lines and the
2subsets and 3subsets of a 6set. This underlies M_{24}."
A related note from today:
Comments Off on Note on the MOG Correspondence
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Click image for some background.
Shown above is a rearranged version of the
Miracle Octad Generator (MOG) of R. T. Curtis
("A new combinatorial approach to M_{24},"
Math. Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 79 (1976), 2542.)
The 8subcell rectangles in the left part of the figure may be
viewed as illustrating (if the top left subcell is disregarded)
the thirtyfive 3subsets of a 7set.
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 35_{4} Configuration:
"Combinatorially, Danzer’s configuration can be interpreted
as defined by all 3sets and all 4sets that can be formed
by the elements of a 7element set; each 'point' is represented
by one of the 3sets, and it is incident with those lines
(represented by 4sets) that contain the 3set."
— 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).
Comments Off on Pascal via Curtis
Thursday, February 28, 2013
A different dodecahedral space (Log24 on Oct. 3, 2011)—
Comments Off on Paperweights
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Story, Structure, and the Galois Tesseract
Recent Log24 posts have referred to the
"Penrose diamond" and Minkowski space.
The Penrose diamond has nothing whatever
to do with my 1976 monograph "Diamond Theory,"
except for the diamond shape and the connection
of the Penrose diamond to the Klein quadric—
The Klein quadric occurs in the fivedimensional projective space
over a field. If the field is the twoelement Galois field GF(2), the
quadric helps explain certain remarkable symmetry properties
of the R. T. Curtis Miracle Octad Generator (MOG), hence of
the large Mathieu group M_{24}. These properties are also
relevant to the 1976 "Diamond Theory" monograph.
For some background on the quadric, see (for instance)…
See also The Klein Correspondence,
Penrose SpaceTime, and a Finite Model.
Related material:
"… one might crudely distinguish between philosophical
and mathematical motivation. In the first case one tries
to convince with a telling conceptual story; in the second
one relies more on the elegance of some emergent
mathematical structure. If there is a tradition in logic
it favours the former, but I have a sneaking affection for
the latter. Of course the distinction is not so clear cut.
Elegant mathematics will of itself tell a tale, and one with
the merit of simplicity. This may carry philosophical
weight. But that cannot be guaranteed: in the end one
cannot escape the need to form a judgement of significance."
– J. M. E. Hyland. "Proof Theory in the Abstract." (pdf)
Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 114, 2002, 4378.

Those who prefer story to structure may consult
 today's previous post on the Penrose diamond
 the remarks of Scott Aaronson on August 17, 2012
 the remarks in this journal on that same date
 the geometry of the 4×4 array in the context of M_{24}.
Comments Off on Form:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Today's online Telegraph has an obituary of The Troggs'
lead singer Reg Presley, who died yesterday at 71.
The unusually brilliant style of of the unsigned obituary
suggests a review of the life of a fellow Briton—
F. L. Lucas (18941967), author of Style .
According to Wikipedia, Virginia Woolf described Lucas as
"pure Cambridge: clean as a breadknife, and as sharp."
Lucas's acerbic 1923 review of The Waste Land suggests,
in the context of Woolf's remark and of the Blade and Chalice
link at the end of today's previous post, a search for a grail.
Voilà.
Comments Off on Grail
The previous post discussed some fundamentals of logic.
The name "Boole" in that post naturally suggests the
concept of Boolean algebra . This is not the algebra
needed for Galois geometry . See below.
Some, like Dan Brown, prefer to interpret symbols using
religion, not logic. They may consult Diamond Mandorla,
as well as Blade and Chalice, in this journal.
See also yesterday's Universe of Discourse.
Comments Off on Arsenal
Saturday, January 5, 2013
The finite (i.e., Galois) field GF(16),
according to J. J. Seidel in 1974—
The same field according to Steven H. Cullinane in 1986,
in its guise as the affine 4space over GF(2)—
The same field, again disguised as an affine 4space,
according to John H. Conway and N.J.A. Sloane in
Sphere Packings, Lattices, and Groups , first published in 1988—
The above figure by Conway and Sloane summarizes, using
a 4×4 array, the additive vectorspace structure of the finite
field GF(16).
This structure embodies what in Euclidean space is called
the parallelogram rule for vector addition—
(Thanks to June Lester for the 3D (uvw) part of the above figure.)
For the transition from this colored Euclidean hypercube
(used above to illustrate the parallelogram rule) to the
4×4 Galois space (illustrated by Cullinane in 1979 and
Conway and Sloane in 1988— or later… I do not have
their book’s first edition), see Diamond Theory in 1937,
Vertex Adjacency in a Tesseract and in a 4×4 Array,
Spaces as Hypercubes, and The Galois Tesseract.
For some related narrative, see tesseract in this journal.
(This post has been added to finitegeometry.org.)
Update of August 9, 2013—
Coordinates for hypercube vertices derived from the
parallelogram rule in four dimensions were better
illustrated by Jürgen Köller in a web page archived in 2002.
Update of August 13, 2013—
The four basis vectors in the 2002 Köller hypercube figure
are also visible at the bottom of the hypercube figure on
page 7 of “Diamond Theory,” excerpts from a 1976 preprint
in Computer Graphics and Art , Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1977.
A predecessor: Coxeter’s 1950 hypercube figure from
“SelfDual Configurations and Regular Graphs.”
Comments Off on Vector Addition in a Finite Field
Saturday, December 8, 2012
… Chomsky vs. Santa
From a New Yorker weblog yesterday—
"Happy Birthday, Noam Chomsky." by Gary Marcus—
"… two titans facing off, with Chomsky, as ever,
defining the contest"
"Chomsky sees himself, correctly, as continuing
a conversation that goes back to Plato, especially
the Meno dialogue, in which a slave boy is
revealed by Socrates to know truths about
geometry that he hadn’t realized he knew."
See Meno Diamond in this journal. For instance, from
the Feast of Saint Nicholas (Dec. 6th) this year—
The Meno Embedding
For related truths about geometry, see the diamond theorem.
For a related contest of language theory vs. geometry,
see pattern theory (Sept. 11, 16, and 17, 2012).
See esp. the Sept. 11 post, on a Royal Society paper from July 2012
claiming that
"With the results presented here, we have taken the first steps
in decoding the uniquely human fascination with visual patterns,
what Gombrich* termed our ‘sense of order.’ "
The sorts of patterns discussed in the 2012 paper —
"First steps"? The mathematics underlying such patterns
was presented 35 years earlier, in Diamond Theory.
* See GombrichDouat in this journal.
Comments Off on Defining the Contest…
Monday, November 19, 2012
From today's noon post—
"In all his poems with all their enchantments
for the poet himself, there is the final enchantment
that they are true. The significance of the poetic act
then is that it is evidence. It is instance and illustration.
It is an illumination of a surface,
the movement of a self in the rock.
Above all it is a new engagement with life.
It is that miracle to which the true faith of the poet
attaches itself."
— Wallace Stevens at Bard College, March 30, 1951
Stevens also said at Bard that
"When Joan of Arc said:
Have no fear: what I do, I do by command.
My brothers of Paradise tell me what I have to do.
these words were the words of an hallucination.
No matter what her brothers of Paradise drove her to do,
what she did was never a poetic act of faith in reality
because it could not be."
There are those who would dispute this.
Some related material:
"Ageometretos me eisito."—
"Let no one ignorant of geometry enter."—
Said to be a saying of Plato, part of the
seal of the American Mathematical Society—
A poetic approach to geometry—
"A surface" and "the rock," from All Saints' Day, 2012—
— and from 1981—
Some mathematical background for poets in Purgatory—
"… the Klein correspondence underlies Conwell's discussion
of eight heptads. These play an important role in another
correspondence, illustrated in the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis, that may be used to picture actions
of the large Mathieu group M_{24}."
Comments Off on Poetry and Truth
Monday, October 8, 2012
Related entertainment—
The song being performed in the above trailer
for Air America is "A Horse with No Name."
See "Instantia Crucis" and "Winning."
Comments Off on Air America
Thursday, July 12, 2012
An example of lines in a Galois space * —
The 35 lines in the 3dimensional Galois projective space PG(3,2)—
(Click to enlarge.)
There are 15 different individual linear diagrams in the figure above.
These are the points of the Galois space PG(3,2). Each 3set of linear diagrams
represents the structure of one of the 35 4×4 arrays and also represents a line
of the projective space.
The symmetry of the linear diagrams accounts for the symmetry of the
840 possible images in the kaleidoscope puzzle.
* For further details on the phrase "Galois space," see
Beniamino Segre's "On Galois Geometries," Proceedings of the
International Congress of Mathematicians, 1958 [Edinburgh].
(Cambridge U. Press, 1960, 488499.)
(Update of Jan. 5, 2013— This post has been added to finitegeometry.org.)
Comments Off on Galois Space
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