Discriminant of the Icosahedral Group - Greg Egan

Discriminant of the Icosahedral Group

This image, created by Greg Egan, shows the ‘discriminant’ of the symmetry group of the icosahedron. This group acts as linear transformations of \(\mathbb{R}^3\) and thus also \(\mathbb{C}^3\). By a theorem of Chevalley, the space of orbits of this group action is again isomorphic to \(\mathbb{C}^3\). Each point in the surface shown here corresponds to a ‘nongeneric’ orbit: an orbit with fewer than the maximal number of points. More precisely, the space of nongeneric orbits forms a complex surface in \(\mathbb{C}^3\), called the discriminant, whose intersection with \(\mathbb{R}^3\) is shown here.

Heawood Graph - Koko90

Heawood Graph

This is the Heawood graph. This graph can be drawn on a torus with no edges crossing in such a way that it divides the torus into 7 hexagons, each pair of which shares an edge. In 1890, Percy John Heawood proved that for any map drawn on a torus, it takes at most 7 colors to ensure that no two countries sharing a common boundary have the same color. The Heawood graph proves that the number 7 is optimal.