Diophantine equations, Platonic solids, McKay correspondence, equivelar maps and Vogel's universality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Hovhannes Khudaverdyan
  • R. L. Mkrtchyan


We notice that one of the Diophantine equations, knm=2kn+2km+2nm, arising in the universality originated Diophantine classification of simple Lie algebras, has interesting interpretations for two different sets of signs of variables. In both cases it describes “regular polyhedra” with k edges in each vertex, n edges of each face, with total number of edges |m|, and Euler characteristics χ=±2. In the case of negative m this equation corresponds to χ=2 and describes true regular polyhedra, Platonic solids. The case with positive m corresponds to Euler characteristic χ=−2 and describes the so called equivelar maps (charts) on the surface of genus 2. In the former case there are two routes from Platonic solids to simple Lie algebras—abovementioned Diophantine classification and McKay correspondence. We compare them for all solutions of this type, and find coincidence in the case of icosahedron (dodecahedron), corresponding to E8 algebra. In the case of positive k, n and m we obtain in this way the interpretation of (some of) the mysterious solutions (Y-objects), appearing in the Diophantine classification and having some similarities with simple Lie algebras.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geometry and Physics
Early online date5 Dec 2016
StatePublished - 2017