Reflection group

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In group theory and geometry, a reflection group is a discrete group which is generated by a set of reflections of a finite-dimensional Euclidean space. The symmetry group of a regular polytope or of a tiling of the Euclidean space by congruent copies of a regular polytope is necessarily a reflection group. Reflection groups also include Weyl groups and crystallographic Coxeter groups. While the orthogonal group is generated by reflections (by the Cartan–Dieudonné theorem), it is a continuous group (indeed, Lie group), not a discrete group, and is generally considered separately.

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Definition

Let E be a finite-dimensional Euclidean space. A finite reflection group is a subgroup of the general linear group of E which is generated by a set of orthogonal reflections across hyperplanes passing through the origin. An affine reflection group is a discrete subgroup of the affine group of E that is generated by a set of affine reflections of E (without the requirement that the reflection hyperplanes pass through the origin).

The corresponding notions can be defined over other fields, leading to complex reflection groups and analogues of reflection groups over a finite field.

Examples

Plane

In two dimensions, the finite reflection groups are the dihedral groups, which are generated by reflection in two lines that form an angle of and correspond to the Coxeter diagram Conversely, the cyclic point groups in two dimensions are not generated by reflections, and indeed contain no reflections – they are however subgroups of index 2 of a dihedral group.

Infinite reflection groups include the frieze groups and and the wallpaper groups , , , and . If the angle between two lines is an irrational multiple of pi, the group generated by reflections in these lines is infinite and non-discrete, hence, it is not a reflection group.

Space

Finite reflection groups are the point groups Cnv, Dnh, and the symmetry groups of the five Platonic solids. Dual regular polyhedra (cube and octahedron, as well as dodecahedron and icosahedron) give rise to isomorphic symmetry groups. The classification of finite reflection groups of R3 is an instance of the ADE classification.

Relation with Coxeter groups

A reflection group W admits a presentation of a special kind discovered and studied by H. S. M. Coxeter. [1] The reflections in the faces of a fixed fundamental "chamber" are generators ri of W of order 2. All relations between them formally follow from the relations

expressing the fact that the product of the reflections ri and rj in two hyperplanes Hi and Hj meeting at an angle is a rotation by the angle fixing the subspace Hi  Hj of codimension 2. Thus, viewed as an abstract group, every reflection group is a Coxeter group.

Finite fields

When working over finite fields, one defines a "reflection" as a map that fixes a hyperplane (otherwise for example there would be no reflections in characteristic 2, as so reflections are the identity).[ citation needed ] Geometrically, this amounts to including shears in a hyperplane. Reflection groups over finite fields of characteristic not 2 were classified by Zalesskiĭ & Serežkin (1981).

Generalizations

Discrete isometry groups of more general Riemannian manifolds generated by reflections have also been considered. The most important class arises from Riemannian symmetric spaces of rank 1: the n-sphere Sn, corresponding to finite reflection groups, the Euclidean space Rn, corresponding to affine reflection groups, and the hyperbolic space Hn, where the corresponding groups are called hyperbolic reflection groups. In two dimensions, triangle groups include reflection groups of all three kinds.

See also


Related Research Articles

Euclidean space Fundamental space of geometry

Euclidean space is the fundamental space of classical geometry. Originally, it was the three-dimensional space of Euclidean geometry, but in modern mathematics there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer dimension, including the three-dimensional space and the Euclidean plane. It was introduced by the Ancient Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria, and the qualifier Euclidean is used to distinguish it from other spaces that were later discovered in physics and modern mathematics.

Orthogonal group Group of isometries of a Euclidean vector space or, more generally, of a vector space equipped with a quadratic form

In mathematics, the orthogonal group in dimension n, denoted O(n), is the group of distance-preserving transformations of a Euclidean space of dimension n that preserve a fixed point, where the group operation is given by composing transformations. The orthogonal group is sometimes called the general orthogonal group, by analogy with the general linear group. Equivalently, it is the group of n×n orthogonal matrices, where the group operation is given by matrix multiplication. The orthogonal group is an algebraic group and a Lie group. It is compact.

In mathematics, a building is a combinatorial and geometric structure which simultaneously generalizes certain aspects of flag manifolds, finite projective planes, and Riemannian symmetric spaces. Buildings were initially introduced by Jacques Tits as a means to understand the structure of exceptional groups of Lie type. The more specialized theory of Bruhat–Tits buildings plays a role in the study of p-adic Lie groups analogous to that of the theory of symmetric spaces in the theory of Lie groups.

In the mathematical disciplines of topology and geometry, an orbifold is a generalization of a manifold. Roughly speaking, an orbifold is a topological space which is locally a finite group quotient of a Euclidean space.

Reflection (mathematics) Mapping from a Euclidean space to itself

In mathematics, a reflection is a mapping from a Euclidean space to itself that is an isometry with a hyperplane as a set of fixed points; this set is called the axis or plane of reflection. The image of a figure by a reflection is its mirror image in the axis or plane of reflection. For example the mirror image of the small Latin letter p for a reflection with respect to a vertical axis would look like q. Its image by reflection in a horizontal axis would look like b. A reflection is an involution: when applied twice in succession, every point returns to its original location, and every geometrical object is restored to its original state.

Weyl group Subgroup of a root systems isometry group

In mathematics, in particular the theory of Lie algebras, the Weyl group of a root system Φ is a subgroup of the isometry group of that root system. Specifically, it is the subgroup which is generated by reflections through the hyperplanes orthogonal to the roots, and as such is a finite reflection group. In fact it turns out that most finite reflection groups are Weyl groups. Abstractly, Weyl groups are finite Coxeter groups, and are important examples of these.

In mathematics, a Coxeter group, named after H. S. M. Coxeter, is an abstract group that admits a formal description in terms of reflections. Indeed, the finite Coxeter groups are precisely the finite Euclidean reflection groups; the symmetry groups of regular polyhedra are an example. However, not all Coxeter groups are finite, and not all can be described in terms of symmetries and Euclidean reflections. Coxeter groups were introduced in 1934 as abstractions of reflection groups, and finite Coxeter groups were classified in 1935.

In mathematics, the affine group or general affine group of any affine space over a field K is the group of all invertible affine transformations from the space into itself.

In the mathematical area of group theory, Artin groups, also known as Artin–Tits groups or generalized braid groups, are a family of infinite discrete groups defined by simple presentations. They are closely related with Coxeter groups. Examples are free groups, free abelian groups, braid groups, and right-angled Artin–Tits groups, among others.

In geometry, a Schwarz triangle, named after Hermann Schwarz, is a spherical triangle that can be used to tile a sphere, possibly overlapping, through reflections in its edges. They were classified in.

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In geometry, a point group in three dimensions is an isometry group in three dimensions that leaves the origin fixed, or correspondingly, an isometry group of a sphere. It is a subgroup of the orthogonal group O(3), the group of all isometries that leave the origin fixed, or correspondingly, the group of orthogonal matrices. O(3) itself is a subgroup of the Euclidean group E(3) of all isometries.

Coxeter–Dynkin diagram Pictoral representation of symmetry

In geometry, a Coxeter–Dynkin diagram is a graph with numerically labeled edges representing the spatial relations between a collection of mirrors. It describes a kaleidoscopic construction: each graph "node" represents a mirror and the label attached to a branch encodes the dihedral angle order between two mirrors, that is, the amount by which the angle between the reflective planes can be multiplied by to get 180 degrees. An unlabeled branch implicitly represents order-3.

In mathematics, a complex reflection group is a finite group acting on a finite-dimensional complex vector space that is generated by complex reflections: non-trivial elements that fix a complex hyperplane pointwise.

Point reflection Geometric symmetry operation

In geometry, a point reflection or inversion in a point is a type of isometry of Euclidean space. An object that is invariant under a point reflection is said to possess point symmetry; if it is invariant under point reflection through its center, it is said to possess central symmetry or to be centrally symmetric.

In the theory of Riemann surfaces and hyperbolic geometry, the triangle group (2,3,7) is particularly important. This importance stems from its connection to Hurwitz surfaces, namely Riemann surfaces of genus g with the largest possible order, 84(g − 1), of its automorphism group.

Coxeter notation

In geometry, Coxeter notation is a system of classifying symmetry groups, describing the angles between fundamental reflections of a Coxeter group in a bracketed notation expressing the structure of a Coxeter-Dynkin diagram, with modifiers to indicate certain subgroups. The notation is named after H. S. M. Coxeter, and has been more comprehensively defined by Norman Johnson.

In mathematics, the Coxeter complex, named after H. S. M. Coxeter, is a geometrical structure associated to a Coxeter group. Coxeter complexes are the basic objects that allow the construction of buildings; they form the apartments of a building.

Coxeter decompositions of hyperbolic polygons

A Coxeter decomposition of a polygon is a decomposition into a finite number of polygons in which any two sharing a side are reflections of each other along that side. Hyperbolic polygons are the analogues of Euclidean polygons in hyperbolic geometry. A hyperbolic n-gon is an area bounded by n segments, rays, or entire straight lines. The standard model for this geometry is the Poincaré disk model. A major difference between Euclidean and hyperbolic polygons is that the sum of internal angles of a hyperbolic polygon is not the same as Euclidean polygons. In particular, the sum of the angles of a hyperbolic triangle is less than 180 degrees.

Affine symmetric group Mathematical structure

The affine symmetric groups are a family of mathematical structures that describe the symmetries of the number line and the regular triangular tiling of the plane, as well as related higher-dimensional objects. Each one is an infinite extension of a finite symmetric group, the group of permutations (rearrangements) of a finite set. In addition to their geometric description, the affine symmetric groups may be defined as collections of permutations of the integers that are periodic in a certain sense, or in purely algebraic terms as a group with certain generators and relations. They are studied as part of the fields of combinatorics and representation theory.

References

Notes

Bibliography

  • Coxeter, H.S.M. (1934), "Discrete groups generated by reflections", Ann. of Math., 35 (3): 588–621, CiteSeerX   10.1.1.128.471 , doi:10.2307/1968753, JSTOR   1968753
  • Coxeter, H.S.M. (1935), "The complete enumeration of finite groups of the form ", J. London Math. Soc., 10: 21–25, doi:10.1112/jlms/s1-10.37.21
  • Goodman, Roe (April 2004), "The Mathematics of Mirrors and Kaleidoscopes" (PDF), American Mathematical Monthly , 111 (4): 281–298, CiteSeerX   10.1.1.127.6227 , doi:10.2307/4145238, JSTOR   4145238
  • Zalesskiĭ, Aleksandr E.; Serežkin, V N (1981), "Finite Linear Groups Generated by Reflections", Math. USSR Izv., 17 (3): 477–503, Bibcode:1981IzMat..17..477Z, doi:10.1070/IM1981v017n03ABEH001369

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