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Concept# 3-sphere

Summary

In mathematics, a 3-sphere, glome or hypersphere is a higher-dimensional analogue of a sphere. It may be embedded in 4-dimensional Euclidean space as the set of points equidistant from a fixed central point. Analogous to how the boundary of a ball in three dimensions is an ordinary sphere (or 2-sphere, a two-dimensional surface), the boundary of a ball in four dimensions is a 3-sphere (an object with three dimensions). A 3-sphere is an example of a 3-manifold and an n-sphere.
In coordinates, a 3-sphere with center (C0, C1, C2, C3) and radius r is the set of all points (x0, x1, x2, x3) in real, 4-dimensional space (R4) such that
The 3-sphere centered at the origin with radius 1 is called the unit 3-sphere and is usually denoted S3:
It is often convenient to regard R4 as the space with 2 complex dimensions (C2) or the quaternions (H). The unit 3-sphere is then given by
or
This description as the quaternions of norm one identifies the 3-sphere with the versors in the quaternion division ring. Just as the unit circle is important for planar polar coordinates, so the 3-sphere is important in the polar view of 4-space involved in quaternion multiplication. See polar decomposition of a quaternion for details of this development of the three-sphere.
This view of the 3-sphere is the basis for the study of elliptic space as developed by Georges Lemaître.
The 3-dimensional surface volume of a 3-sphere of radius r is
while the 4-dimensional hypervolume (the content of the 4-dimensional region bounded by the 3-sphere) is
Every non-empty intersection of a 3-sphere with a three-dimensional hyperplane is a 2-sphere (unless the hyperplane is tangent to the 3-sphere, in which case the intersection is a single point). As a 3-sphere moves through a given three-dimensional hyperplane, the intersection starts out as a point, then becomes a growing 2-sphere that reaches its maximal size when the hyperplane cuts right through the "equator" of the 3-sphere. Then the 2-sphere shrinks again down to a single point as the 3-sphere leaves the hyperplane.

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