In geometry, orbifold notation (or orbifold signature) is a system, invented by William Thurston and popularized by the mathematician John Conway, for representing types of symmetry groups in two-dimensional spaces of constant curvature. The advantage of the notation is that it describes these groups in a way which indicates many of the groups' properties: in particular, it describes the orbifold obtained by taking the quotient of Euclidean space by the group under consideration.
Groups representable in this notation include the point groups on the sphere (), the frieze groups and wallpaper groups of the Euclidean plane (), and their analogues on the hyperbolic plane ().
The following types of Euclidean transformation can occur in a group described by orbifold notation:
All translations which occur are assumed to form a discrete subgroup of the group symmetries being described.
Each group is denoted in orbifold notation by a finite string made up from the following symbols:
A string written in boldface represents a group of symmetries of Euclidean 3-space. A string not written in boldface represents a group of symmetries of the Euclidean plane, which is assumed to contain two independent translations.
Each symbol corresponds to a distinct transformation:
An orbifold symbol is called good if it is not one of the following: p, pq, *p, *pq, for p,q>=2, and p≠q.
An object is chiral if its symmetry group contains no reflections; otherwise it is called achiral. The corresponding orbifold is orientable in the chiral case and non-orientable otherwise.
The Euler characteristic of an orbifold can be read from its Conway symbol, as follows. Each feature has a value:
Subtracting the sum of these values from 2 gives the Euler characteristic.
If the sum of the feature values is 2, the order is infinite, i.e., the notation represents a wallpaper group or a frieze group. Indeed, Conway's "Magic Theorem" indicates that the 17 wallpaper groups are exactly those with the sum of the feature values equal to 2. Otherwise, the order is 2 divided by the Euler characteristic.
The following groups are isomorphic:
This is because 1-fold rotation is the "empty" rotation.
A perfect snowflake would have *6• symmetry, |
The pentagon has symmetry *5•, the whole image with arrows 5•. |
The Flag of Hong Kong has 5 fold rotation symmetry, 5•. |
The symmetry of a 2D object without translational symmetry can be described by the 3D symmetry type by adding a third dimension to the object which does not add or spoil symmetry. For example, for a 2D image we can consider a piece of carton with that image displayed on one side; the shape of the carton should be such that it does not spoil the symmetry, or it can be imagined to be infinite. Thus we have n• and *n•. The bullet (•) is added on one- and two-dimensional groups to imply the existence of a fixed point. (In three dimensions these groups exist in an n-fold digonal orbifold and are represented as nn and *nn.)
Similarly, a 1D image can be drawn horizontally on a piece of carton, with a provision to avoid additional symmetry with respect to the line of the image, e.g. by drawing a horizontal bar under the image. Thus the discrete symmetry groups in one dimension are *•, *1•, ∞• and *∞•.
Another way of constructing a 3D object from a 1D or 2D object for describing the symmetry is taking the Cartesian product of the object and an asymmetric 2D or 1D object, respectively.
(*11), C_{1v}=C_{s} | (*22), C_{2v} | (*33), C_{3v} | (*44), C_{4v} | (*55), C_{5v} | (*66), C_{6v} |
---|---|---|---|---|---|
Order 2 |
Order 4 |
Order 6 |
Order 8 |
Order 10 |
Order 12 |
(*221), D_{1h}=C_{2v} | (*222), D_{2h} | (*223), D_{3h} | (*224), D_{4h} | (*225), D_{5h} | (*226), D_{6h} |
Order 4 |
Order 8 |
Order 12 |
Order 16 |
Order 20 |
Order 24 |
(*332), T_{d} | (*432), O_{h} | (*532), I_{h} | |||
Order 24 |
Order 48 |
Order 120 |
Orbifold Signature |
Coxeter | Schönflies | Hermann–Mauguin | Order |
---|---|---|---|---|
Polyhedral groups | ||||
*532 | [3,5] | I_{h} | 53m | 120 |
532 | [3,5]^{+} | I | 532 | 60 |
*432 | [3,4] | O_{h} | m3m | 48 |
432 | [3,4]^{+} | O | 432 | 24 |
*332 | [3,3] | T_{d} | 43m | 24 |
3*2 | [3^{+},4] | T_{h} | m3 | 24 |
332 | [3,3]^{+} | T | 23 | 12 |
Dihedral and cyclic groups: n=3,4,5... | ||||
*22n | [2,n] | D_{nh} | n/mmm or 2nm2 | 4n |
2*n | [2^{+},2n] | D_{nd} | 2n2m or nm | 4n |
22n | [2,n]^{+} | D_{n} | n2 | 2n |
*nn | [n] | C_{nv} | nm | 2n |
n* | [n^{+},2] | C_{nh} | n/m or 2n | 2n |
n× | [2^{+},2n^{+}] | S_{2n} | 2n or n | 2n |
nn | [n]^{+} | C_{n} | n | n |
Special cases | ||||
*222 | [2,2] | D_{2h} | 2/mmm or 22m2 | 8 |
2*2 | [2^{+},4] | D_{2d} | 222m or 2m | 8 |
222 | [2,2]^{+} | D_{2} | 22 | 4 |
*22 | [2] | C_{2v} | 2m | 4 |
2* | [2^{+},2] | C_{2h} | 2/m or 22 | 4 |
2× | [2^{+},4^{+}] | S_{4} | 22 or 2 | 4 |
22 | [2]^{+} | C_{2} | 2 | 2 |
*22 | [1,2] | D_{1h}=C_{2v} | 1/mmm or 21m2 | 4 |
2* | [2^{+},2] | D_{1d}=C_{2h} | 212m or 1m | 4 |
22 | [1,2]^{+} | D_{1}=C_{2} | 12 | 2 |
*1 | [ ] | C_{1v}=C_{s} | 1m | 2 |
1* | [2,1^{+}] | C_{1h}=C_{s} | 1/m or 21 | 2 |
1× | [2^{+},2^{+}] | S_{2}=C_{i} | 21 or 1 | 2 |
1 | [ ]^{+} | C_{1} | 1 | 1 |
IUC | Cox | Schön^{*} Struct. |
Diagram^{§} Orbifold |
Examples and Conway nickname^{[2]} |
Description |
---|---|---|---|---|---|
p1 | [∞]^{+} |
C_{∞} Z_{∞} |
∞∞ |
F F F F F F F F hop |
(T) Translations only: This group is singly generated, by a translation by the smallest distance over which the pattern is periodic. |
p11g | [∞^{+},2^{+}] |
S_{∞} Z_{∞} |
∞× |
F ᖶ F ᖶ F ᖶ F ᖶ step |
(TG) Glide-reflections and Translations: This group is singly generated, by a glide reflection, with translations being obtained by combining two glide reflections. |
p1m1 | [∞] |
C_{∞v} Dih_{∞} |
*∞∞ |
Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ sidle |
(TV) Vertical reflection lines and Translations: The group is the same as the non-trivial group in the one-dimensional case; it is generated by a translation and a reflection in the vertical axis. |
p2 | [∞,2]^{+} |
D_{∞} Dih_{∞} |
22∞ |
S S S S S S S S spinning hop |
(TR) Translations and 180° Rotations: The group is generated by a translation and a 180° rotation. |
p2mg | [∞,2^{+}] |
D_{∞d} Dih_{∞} |
2*∞ |
V Λ V Λ V Λ V Λ spinning sidle |
(TRVG) Vertical reflection lines, Glide reflections, Translations and 180° Rotations: The translations here arise from the glide reflections, so this group is generated by a glide reflection and either a rotation or a vertical reflection. |
p11m | [∞^{+},2] |
C_{∞h} Z_{∞}×Dih_{1} |
∞* |
B B B B B B B B jump |
(THG) Translations, Horizontal reflections, Glide reflections: This group is generated by a translation and the reflection in the horizontal axis. The glide reflection here arises as the composition of translation and horizontal reflection |
p2mm | [∞,2] |
D_{∞h} Dih_{∞}×Dih_{1} |
*22∞ |
H H H H H H H H spinning jump |
(TRHVG) Horizontal and Vertical reflection lines, Translations and 180° Rotations: This group requires three generators, with one generating set consisting of a translation, the reflection in the horizontal axis and a reflection across a vertical axis. |
(*442), p4m | (4*2), p4g |
---|---|
(*333), p3m | (632), p6 |
Orbifold Signature |
Coxeter | Hermann– Mauguin |
Speiser Niggli |
Polya Guggenhein |
Fejes Toth Cadwell |
---|---|---|---|---|---|
*632 | [6,3] | p6m | C^{(I)}_{6v} | D_{6} | W^{1}_{6} |
632 | [6,3]^{+} | p6 | C^{(I)}_{6} | C_{6} | W_{6} |
*442 | [4,4] | p4m | C^{(I)}_{4} | D^{*}_{4} | W^{1}_{4} |
4*2 | [4^{+},4] | p4g | C^{II}_{4v} | D^{o}_{4} | W^{2}_{4} |
442 | [4,4]^{+} | p4 | C^{(I)}_{4} | C_{4} | W_{4} |
*333 | [3^{[3]}] | p3m1 | C^{II}_{3v} | D^{*}_{3} | W^{1}_{3} |
3*3 | [3^{+},6] | p31m | C^{I}_{3v} | D^{o}_{3} | W^{2}_{3} |
333 | [3^{[3]}]^{+} | p3 | C^{I}_{3} | C_{3} | W_{3} |
*2222 | [∞,2,∞] | pmm | C^{I}_{2v} | D_{2}kkkk | W^{2}_{2} |
2*22 | [∞,2^{+},∞] | cmm | C^{IV}_{2v} | D_{2}kgkg | W^{1}_{2} |
22* | [(∞,2)^{+},∞] | pmg | C^{III}_{2v} | D_{2}kkgg | W^{3}_{2} |
22× | [∞^{+},2^{+},∞^{+}] | pgg | C^{II}_{2v} | D_{2}gggg | W^{4}_{2} |
2222 | [∞,2,∞]^{+} | p2 | C^{(I)}_{2} | C_{2} | W_{2} |
** | [∞^{+},2,∞] | pm | C^{I}_{s} | D_{1}kk | W^{2}_{1} |
*× | [∞^{+},2^{+},∞] | cm | C^{III}_{s} | D_{1}kg | W^{1}_{1} |
×× | [∞^{+},(2,∞)^{+}] | pg | C^{II}_{2} | D_{1}gg | W^{3}_{1} |
o | [∞^{+},2,∞^{+}] | p1 | C^{(I)}_{1} | C_{1} | W_{1} |
Example right triangles (*2pq) | ||||
---|---|---|---|---|
*237 |
*238 |
*239 |
*23∞ | |
*245 |
*246 |
*247 |
*248 |
*∞42 |
*255 |
*256 |
*257 |
*266 |
*2∞∞ |
Example general triangles (*pqr) | ||||
*334 |
*335 |
*336 |
*337 |
*33∞ |
*344 |
*366 |
*3∞∞ |
*6^{3} |
*∞^{3} |
Example higher polygons (*pqrs...) | ||||
*2223 |
*(23)^{2} |
*(24)^{2} |
*3^{4} |
*4^{4} |
*2^{5} |
*2^{6} |
*2^{7} |
*2^{8} | |
*222∞ |
*(2∞)^{2} |
*∞^{4} |
*2^{∞} |
*∞^{∞} |
A first few hyperbolic groups, ordered by their Euler characteristic are:
-1/χ | Orbifolds | Coxeter |
---|---|---|
84 | *237 | [7,3] |
48 | *238 | [8,3] |
42 | 237 | [7,3]^{+} |
40 | *245 | [5,4] |
36 - 26.4 | *239, *2 3 10 | [9,3], [10,3] |
26.4 | *2 3 11 | [11,3] |
24 | *2 3 12, *246, *334, 3*4, 238 | [12,3], [6,4], [(4,3,3)], [3^{+},8], [8,3]^{+} |
22.3 - 21 | *2 3 13, *2 3 14 | [13,3], [14,3] |
20 | *2 3 15, *255, 5*2, 245 | [15,3], [5,5], [5^{+},4], [5,4]^{+} |
19.2 | *2 3 16 | [16,3] |
18+2/3 | *247 | [7,4] |
18 | *2 3 18, 239 | [18,3], [9,3]^{+} |
17.5 - 16.2 | *2 3 19, *2 3 20, *2 3 21, *2 3 22, *2 3 23 | [19,3], [20,3], [20,3], [21,3], [22,3], [23,3] |
16 | *2 3 24, *248 | [24,3], [8,4] |
15 | *2 3 30, *256, *335, 3*5, 2 3 10 | [30,3], [6,5], [(5,3,3)], [3^{+},10], [10,3]^{+} |
14+2/5 - 13+1/3 | *2 3 36 ... *2 3 70, *249, *2 4 10 | [36,3] ... [60,3], [9,4], [10,4] |
13+1/5 | *2 3 66, 2 3 11 | [66,3], [11,3]^{+} |
12+8/11 | *2 3 105, *257 | [105,3], [7,5] |
12+4/7 | *2 3 132, *2 4 11 ... | [132,3], [11,4], ... |
12 | *23∞, *2 4 12, *266, 6*2, *336, 3*6, *344, 4*3, *2223, 2*23, 2 3 12, 246, 334 | [∞,3] [12,4], [6,6], [6^{+},4], [(6,3,3)], [3^{+},12], [(4,4,3)], [4^{+},6], [∞,3,∞], [12,3]^{+}, [6,4]^{+} [(4,3,3)]^{+} |
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