Rank-3 root systems induce root systems of rank 4 via a new Clifford spinor construction

Dechant, Pierre-Philippe (2015) Rank-3 root systems induce root systems of rank 4 via a new Clifford spinor construction. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 597.

Dechant_2015_J._Phys.__Conf._Ser._597_012027.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


In this paper, we show that via a novel construction every rank-3 root system induces a root system of rank 4. Via the Cartan-Dieudonné theorem, an even number of successive Coxeter reflections yields rotations that in a Clifford algebra framework are described by spinors. In three dimensions these spinors themselves have a natural four-dimensional Euclidean structure, and discrete spinor groups can therefore be interpreted as 4D polytopes. In fact, we show that these polytopes have to be root systems, thereby inducing Coxeter groups of rank 4, and that their automorphism groups include two factors of the respective discrete spinor groups trivially acting on the left and on the right by spinor multiplication. Special cases of this general theorem include the exceptional 4D groups D4, F4 and H4, which therefore opens up a new understanding of applications of these structures in terms of spinorial geometry. In particular, 4D groups are ubiquitous in high energy physics. For the corresponding case in two dimensions, the groups I2(n) are shown to be self-dual, whilst via a similar construction in terms of octonions each rank-3 root system induces a root system in dimension 8; this root system is in fact the direct sum of two copies of the corresponding induced 4D root system.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/597/1/012027
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
School/Department: STEM
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3366

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record