Solomon's Cube

By Steven H. Cullinane on May 28, 2003

In 1998, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkeley published a book, The Eightfold Way, inspired by a new sculpture at the Institute.  This note describes another sculpture embodying some of the same concepts in a different guise.

The Eightfold Way deals with Klein's quartic, which, like all non-singular quartic curves, has 28 bitangents.  The relationship of the 28 bitangents to the 27 lines of a "Solomon's seal" in a cubic surface is sketched at the Mathworld encyclopedia.  For more details, see the excerpt below, from Jeremy Gray's paper in The Eightfold Way

Both the 28 bitangents and the 27 lines may be represented by the 63 points of PG(5,2), as noted by J. W. P. Hirschfeld in Ch. 20 of Finite Projective Spaces of Three Dimensions (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1985).

Group actions on the 63 points of the finite projective space PG(5,2) are derived from group actions on the 64 points of the finite affine space AG(6,2).... which may, as my Diamond Theory points out, be visualized as a 4x4x4 cube. 

Those who like to associate mathematical with religious entities may contemplate the above in the light of the 1931 Charles Williams novel Many Dimensions.   Instead of Solomon's seal, this book describes Solomon's cube.

From a review: "Imagine 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' set in 20th-century London, and then imagine it written by a man steeped not in Hollywood movies but in Dante and the things of the spirit, and you might begin to get a picture of Charles Williams's novel Many Dimensions."

From The Eightfold Way, a publication of
the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
(MSRI Publications Vol. 35, 1998):

From the History of a Simple Group

by Jeremy Gray


"Art isn't easy." -- Stephen Sondheim

For more on this theme, see

ART WARS: Geometry as Conceptual Art.

For a large downloadable folder
containing this and many related web pages,
see Notes on Finite Geometry.