Space Vectors Forming Rational Angles

Friday, April 12, 2024 - 15:30 to 16:30

Thackeray Hall 704

Speaker Information
Kiran Kedlaya
UC San Diego

Abstract or Additional Information

We classify all possible configurations of vectors in three-dimensional space with the property that any two of the vectors form an angle whose measure is a rational multiple of pi. As a corollary, we find all tetrahedra whose six dihedral angles are all rational multiples of pi. While these questions (and their answers) are of an elementary nature, their resolution will take us on a tour through cyclotomic number fields, computational algebraic geometry, and an amazing fact about the geometry of tetrahedra discovered by physicists in the 1960s. Joint work with Sasha Kolpakov, Bjorn Poonen, and Michael Rubinstein.

Research Area