 # Geodesic Balls in the Nil-Space

Initializing live version Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram Player or other Wolfram Language products.

W. Heisenberg's real matrix group provides a noncommutative translation group of an affine 3-space. The Nil-geometry, which is one of the eight Thurston 3-geometries, can be derived from this group. It was proved by E. Molnár that the homogeneous 3-spaces have a unified interpretation in the projective 3-sphere ). In this Demonstration we visualize the geodesic balls of the Nil-space with the origin as the center, radius in , and translated by .

Contributed by: Benedek Schultz, János Pallagi (April 2009)
Suggested by: Jenő Szirmai
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

## Snapshots   ## Details

We get the geodesic ball by rotating the following curve about the axis (lying in the plane ): , if ; if : , .

If , then the curve is basically half of the intersection of the geodesic sphere with the [ , ] plane and looks like this: The coordinates of a point rotated by around the axis are ( , , ).

Finally, we can translate the geodesic sphere with a vector ( , , ) to get , , ). This translation is defined by left multiplication with Heisenberg's matrix: It is a good idea to zoom in for a better view as well as to rotate the image.

If the radius is less than , then the ball is convex in the affine-Euclidean sense of our model, but if the radius is in , then it is not convex. Also the geodesic sphere exists in Nil if and only if . For example if , then the curve used to rotate about the axis would be: Reference:

J. Szirmai, "The Densest Geodesic Ball Packing by a Type of Nil Lattices," Beiträge zur Algebra und Geometrie (Contributions to Algebra and Geometry), 48(2), 2007 pp. 383-397.

## Permanent Citation

Benedek Schultz, János Pallagi

 Feedback (field required) Email (field required) Name Occupation Organization Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback. Send