Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cyclotomic fields

The nth cyclotomic field is the field generated by a primitive nth root of unity, ζ. It is an example of a number field, consisting of algebraic numbers, and its dimension is φ(n) when regarded as a vector space over … Continue reading

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Urbit for mathematicians

The three months since the last cp4space article have largely been spent learning about an interesting project called Urbit. My attention was drawn to its existence during a talk by Riva-Melissa Tez (formerly of Intel) on the importance of continued … Continue reading

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A curious construction of the Mathieu group M11

Previously, we discussed which regular polytopes have vertex-sets that occur as proper subsets of the vertex-set of another regular polytope in the same dimension. In particular, when there is a Hadamard matrix of order 4k, then then the (4k−1)-dimensional simplex … Continue reading

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Assorted topics

This is a digest of things that have happened this month, but which are individually too small to each warrant a separate cp4space post. Firstly, there have been a couple of exciting results in the field of combinatorics: The Erdős-Faber-Lovász … Continue reading

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Meagre sets and null sets

There are two competing notions for describing a subset of the real numbers as being ‘small’: a null set is a subset of the reals with Lebesgue measure zero; a meagre set is a countable union of nowhere-dense sets. Both … Continue reading

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Rigid heptagon linkage

In January 2000, Erich Friedman considered the problem of finding a rigid unit-distance graph G containing a regular heptagon as a subgraph. That is to say, the graph is immersed in the plane such that: every edge of G must … Continue reading

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Barreto-Naehrig curves and cryptographic pairings

There’s a very elegant cryptographic construction discovered by Barreto and Naehrig in a 2005 paper. It is beautiful from a pure mathematical perspective, but also has an impressive application: it was* part of the ingenious mechanism by which Zcash supports … Continue reading

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Shallow trees with heavy leaves

There are two very different state-of-the-art chess engines: Stockfish and Leela Chess Zero. Stockfish searches many more positions (100 000 000 per second) and evaluates them using computationally cheap heuristics. The tree search methodology is a refinement of alpha-beta pruning. … Continue reading

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Let the circumcentre be your origin

Suppose we have two vectors, u and v, in a Euclidean vector space. If we wanted to somehow quantify the proximity of these two vectors, there are two particularly appealing choices: the squared distance, |u − v|²; the inner product, … Continue reading

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An attempt to understand the Monster group

The Monster group is very large, very complicated, and very mysterious. According to the Classification of Finite Simple Groups that was completed last century, the Monster group is the largest of only 26 finite simple groups that do not fit … Continue reading

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