Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science

Meditation on an Engraving of Fricke and Klein (The Modular Group and Geometrical Chemistry)

Stephen T. Hyde, Ann-Kristin Larsson, Tiziana Di Matteo, Stuart Ramsden and Vanessa Robins

Australian Journal of Chemistry 56(10) 981 - 1000
Published: 09 September 2003


A non-technical account of the links between two-dimensional (2D) hyperbolic and three-dimensional (3D) euclidean symmetric patterns is presented, with a number of examples from both spaces. A simple working hypothesis is used throughout the survey: simple, highly symmetric patterns traced in hyperbolic space lead to chemically relevant structures in euclidean space. The prime examples in the former space are derived from Felix Klein's engraving of the modular group structure within the hyperbolic plane; these include various tilings, networks and trees. Disc packings are also derived. The euclidean examples are relevant to condensed atomic and molecular materials in solid-state chemistry and soft-matter structural science. They include extended nets of relevance to covalent frameworks, simple (lattice) sphere packings, and interpenetrating extended frameworks (related to novel coordination polymers). Limited discussion of the projection process from 2D hyperbolic to 3D euclidean space via mapping onto triply periodic minimal surfaces is presented.

© CSIRO 2003

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