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Recent work has shown that every 3D root system allows the construction of a corresponding 4D root system via an ‘induction theorem’. In this paper, we look at the icosahedral case of $$H_3\rightarrow H_4$$ H 3 → H 4 in detail and perform the calculations explicitly. Clifford algebra is used to perform group theoretic calculations based on the versor theorem and the Cartan–Dieudonné theorem, giving a simple construction of the $${\mathrm {Pin}}$$ Pin and $${\mathrm {Spin}}$$ Spin covers. Using this connection with $$H_3$$ H 3 via the induction theorem sheds light on geometric aspects of the $$H_4$$ H 4 root system (the 600-cell) as well as other related polytopes and their symmetries, such as the famous Grand Antiprism and the snub 24-cell. The uniform construction of root systems from 3D and the uniform procedure of splitting root systems with respect to subrootsystems into separate invariant sets allows further systematic insight into the underlying geometry. All calculations are performed in the even subalgebra of $${\mathrm {Cl}}(3)$$ Cl ( 3 ) , including the construction of the Coxeter plane, which is used for visualising the complementary pairs of invariant polytopes, and are shared as supplementary computational work sheets. This approach therefore constitutes a more systematic and general way of performing calculations concerning groups, in particular reflection groups and root systems, in a Clifford algebraic framework.

In this paper we present novel ADE correspondences by combining an earlier induction theorem of ours with one of Arnold's observations concerning Trinities, and the McKay correspondence. We first extend Arnold's indirect link between the Trinity of symmetries of the Platonic solids (A3, B3, H3) and the Trinity of exceptional 4D root systems (D4, F4, H4) to an explicit Clifford algebraic construction linking the two ADE sets of root systems (I2(n), A1 × I2(n), A3, B3, H3) and (I2(n), I2(n) × I2(n), D4, F4, H4). The latter are connected through the McKay correspondence with the ADE Lie algebras (An, Dn, E6, E7, E8). We show that there are also novel indirect as well as direct connections between these ADE root systems and the new ADE set of root systems (I2(n), A1 × I2(n), A3, B3, H3), resulting in a web of three-way ADE correspondences between three ADE sets of root systems.

E8 is prominent in mathematics and theoretical physics, and is generally viewed as an exceptional symmetry in an eight-dimensional (8D) space very different from the space we inhabit; for instance, the Lie group E8 features heavily in 10D superstring theory. Contrary to that point of view, here we show that the E8 root system can in fact be constructed from the icosahedron alone and can thus be viewed purely in terms of 3D geometry. The 240 roots of E8 arise in the 8D Clifford algebra of 3D space as a double cover of the 120 elements of the icosahedral group, generated by the root system H3. As a by-product, by restricting to even products of root vectors (spinors) in the 4D even subalgebra of the Clifford algebra, one can show that each 3D root system induces a root system in 4D, which turn out to also be exactly the exceptional 4D root systems. The spinorial point of view explains their existence as well as their unusual automorphism groups. This spinorial approach thus in fact allows one to construct all exceptional root systems within the geometry of three dimensions, which opens up a novel interpretation of these phenomena in terms ofspinorial geometry. ©2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

This paper shows how regular convex 4-polytopes – the analogues of the Platonic solids in four dimensions – can be constructed from three-dimensional considerations concerning the Platonic solids alone.
Via
the Cartan–Dieudonné theorem, the reflective symmetries of the Platonic solids generate rotations. In a Clifford algebra framework, the space of spinors generating such three-dimensional rotations has a natural four-dimensional Euclidean structure. The spinors arising from the Platonic solids can thus in turn be interpreted as vertices in four-dimensional space, giving a simple construction of the four-dimensional polytopes 16-cell, 24-cell, the
F
4
root system and the 600-cell. In particular, these polytopes have `mysterious' symmetries, that are almost trivial when seen from the three-dimensional spinorial point of view. In fact, all these induced polytopes are also known to be root systems and thus generate rank-4 Coxeter groups, which can be shown to be a general property of the spinor construction. These considerations thus also apply to other root systems such as A_{1}\oplus I_{2}(n) which induces I_{2}(n)\oplus I_{2}(n), explaining the existence of the grand antiprism and the snub 24-cell, as well as their symmetries. These results are discussed in the wider mathematical context of Arnold's trinities and the McKay correspondence. These results are thus a novel link between the geometries of three and four dimensions, with interesting potential applications on both sides of the correspondence, to real three-dimensional systems with polyhedral symmetries such as (quasi)crystals and viruses, as well as four-dimensional geometries arising for instance in Grand Unified Theories and string and M-theory.

We discuss a Clifford algebra framework for discrete symmetry groups (such as reflection, Coxeter, conformal and modular groups), leading to a surprising number of new results. Clifford algebras allow for a particularly simple description of reflections via ‘sandwiching’. This extends to a description of orthogonal transformations in general by means of ‘sandwiching’ with Clifford algebra multivectors, since all orthogonal transformations can be written as products of reflections by the Cartan-Dieudonné theorem. We begin by viewing the largest non-crystallographic reflection/Coxeter group \(H_4\) as a group of rotations in two different ways—firstly via a folding from the largest exceptional group \(E_8\), and secondly by induction from the icosahedral group \(H_3\) via Clifford spinors. We then generalise the second way by presenting a construction of a 4D root system from any given 3D one. This affords a new, spinorial, perspective on 4D phenomena, in particular as the induced root systems are precisely the exceptional ones in 4D, and their unusual automorphism groups are easily explained in the spinorial picture; we discuss the wider context of Platonic solids, Arnold’s trinities and the McKay correspondence. The multivector groups can be used to perform concrete group-theoretic calculations, e.g. those for \(H_3\) and \(E_8\), and we discuss how various representations can also be constructed in this Clifford framework; in particular, representations of quaternionic type arise very naturally.

We discuss a Clifford algebra framework for discrete symmetry groups (such as reflection, Coxeter, conformal and modular groups), leading to a surprising number of new results. Clifford algebras allow for a particularly simple description of reflections via `sandwiching'. This extends to a description of orthogonal transformations in general by means of `sandwiching' with Clifford algebra multivectors, since all orthogonal transformations can be written as products of reflections by the Cartan-Dieudonn\'e theorem. We begin by viewing the largest non-crystallographic reflection/Coxeter group $H_4$ as a group of rotations in two different ways -- firstly via a folding from the largest exceptional group $E_8$, and secondly by induction from the icosahedral group $H_3$ via Clifford spinors. We then generalise the second way by presenting a construction of a 4D root system from any given 3D one. This affords a new -- spinorial -- perspective on 4D phenomena, in particular as the induced root systems are precisely the exceptional ones in 4D, and their unusual automorphism groups are easily explained in the spinorial picture; we discuss the wider context of Platonic solids, Arnold's trinities and the McKay correspondence. The multivector groups can be used to perform concrete group-theoretic calculations, e.g. those for $H_3$ and $E_8$, and we discuss how various representations can also be constructed in this Clifford framework; in particular, representations of quaternionic type arise very naturally.

This paper considers the geometry of $E_8$ from a Clifford point of view in three complementary ways. Firstly, in earlier work, I had shown how to construct the four-dimensional exceptional root systems from the 3D root systems using Clifford techniques, by constructing them in the 4D even subalgebra of the 3D Clifford algebra; for instance the icosahedral root system $H_3$ gives rise to the largest (and therefore exceptional) non-crystallographic root system $H_4$. Arnold's trinities and the McKay correspondence then hint that there might be an indirect connection between the icosahedron and $E_8$. Secondly, in a related construction, I have now made this connection explicit for the first time: in the 8D Clifford algebra of 3D space the $120$ elements of the icosahedral group $H_3$ are doubly covered by $240$ 8-component objects, which endowed with a `reduced inner product' are exactly the $E_8$ root system. It was previously known that $E_8$ splits into $H_4$-invariant subspaces, and we discuss the folding construction relating the two pictures. This folding is a partial version of the one used for the construction of the Coxeter plane, so thirdly we discuss the geometry of the Coxeter plane in a Clifford algebra framework. We advocate the complete factorisation of the Coxeter versor in the Clifford algebra into exponentials of bivectors describing rotations in orthogonal planes with the rotation angle giving the correct exponents, which gives much more geometric insight than the usual approach of complexification and search for complex eigenvalues. In particular, we explicitly find these factorisations for the 2D, 3D and 4D root systems, $D_6$ as well as $E_8$, whose Coxeter versor factorises as $W=\exp(\frac{\pi}{30}B_C)\exp(\frac{11\pi}{30}B_2)\exp(\frac{7\pi}{30}B_3)\exp(\frac{13\pi}{30}B_4)$.