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Lecture# Coxeter Groups: Classification and Exceptional Construction

Description

This lecture covers the classification of irreducible crystallographic Coxeter groups, explaining how to determine a Coxeter group in R^3 from its Coxeter graph. It also delves into the construction of exceptional Coxeter groups through the method of choosing vectors with specific angles and lengths determined by the Coxeter graph and crystallographic conditions, followed by generating the group using simple reflections and constructing it inductively. The lecture concludes with the termination process for all indecomposable Coxeter graphs.

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MATH-335: Coxeter groups

Study groups generated by reflections

Coxeter group

In mathematics, a Coxeter group, named after H. S. M. Coxeter, is an abstract group that admits a formal description in terms of reflections (or kaleidoscopic mirrors). 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 .

Coxeter element

In mathematics, the Coxeter number h is the order of a Coxeter element of an irreducible Coxeter group. It is named after H.S.M. Coxeter. Note that this article assumes a finite Coxeter group. For infinite Coxeter groups, there are multiple conjugacy classes of Coxeter elements, and they have infinite order. There are many different ways to define the Coxeter number h of an irreducible root system. A Coxeter element is a product of all simple reflections.

Coxeter–Dynkin diagram

In geometry, a Coxeter–Dynkin diagram (or Coxeter diagram, Coxeter graph) is a graph with numerically labeled edges (called branches) representing the spatial relations between a collection of mirrors (or reflecting hyperplanes). It describes a kaleidoscopic construction: each graph "node" represents a mirror (domain facet) and the label attached to a branch encodes the dihedral angle order between two mirrors (on a domain ridge), that is, the amount by which the angle between the reflective planes can be multiplied to get 180 degrees.

Coxeter notation

In geometry, Coxeter notation (also Coxeter symbol) 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. For Coxeter groups, defined by pure reflections, there is a direct correspondence between the bracket notation and Coxeter-Dynkin diagram.

Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter

Harold Scott MacDonald "Donald" Coxeter (9 February 1907 – 31 March 2003) was a British-Canadian geometer and mathematician. He is regarded as one of the greatest geometers of the 20th century. Coxeter was born in Kensington to Harold Samuel Coxeter and Lucy (). His father had taken over the family business of Coxeter & Son, manufacturers of surgical instruments and compressed gases (including a mechanism for anaesthetising surgical patients with nitrous oxide), but was able to retire early and focus on sculpting and baritone singing; Lucy Coxeter was a portrait and landscape painter who had attended the Royal Academy of Arts.

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