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Symmetries Of Checkered Cross Sections

Written By Adi Cox 25th June 2015

Indroduction
This paper is analogous to looking at the cross sections of a cone to find
second degree polynomial curves in the form of parabolas, hyperbolas and
ellipses.
The cone is replaced by the checkered cube and the various second degree
polynomial curves are replaced by cross sections that have some of the
seventeen types of wallpaper symmetries. Just how many is what this paper
intends to find out.

Below is a checkered cube 10 x 10. The easiest and most obvious cross
section would be translation z = 0, angle x = 0, angle y = 0, and so we would
get the checkered squares which would be the wallpaper symmetry p4mm.

If I was to cut through the cube from the base corner at the front at angle pi/4
radians (45 degrees) to the horizontal. So that translation z = 0, angle x =
pi/4, angle y =pi/4, then we would get this cross section :

If we look at the wallpaper classification algorithm below then we see that the
cross section has the same symmetry as p3m1

Wallpaper Classification Algorithm

There are seventeen types of wallpaper patterns. To use the algorithm first
determine the highest order of rotational symmetry and then follow the
appropriate diagram below.

Standard forms and notation for wallpaper groups.

Notation

Point group

p1

C1

pm

D1

pg

D1

cm

D1

p2

C1

p2mm or pmm

p2mg

D2

p2gg or pgg

D2

c2mm or cmm

10

p3

C3

11

p3m1

D3

12

p31m

D3

13

p4

C4

14

p4mm or p4m

15

p4gm or p4g

D4

16

p6

C6

17

p6mm or p6m

D1

D2

D4

D6

All the cross sections of the checkered cube will be flat planes which will be
determined by three factors only:

(1) The angle x that is horizontal to the x axis and arcs up to the vertical z
axis.
(2) The angle y that is horizontal to the y axis and arcs up to the vertical z
axis.
(3) Translation z that is a fraction of the check cube side length, and z is
vertical along the z axis.

If I was to cut through the cube from half way up the base corner cube at the
front at an angle of pi/4 radians (45 degrees) to the horizontal then we would
get this cross section above. So translation z = 1/2, angle x = pi/4, angle y =
pi/4.
If we look at the wallpaper classification algorithm then we see that the cross
section has the same symmetry as p6mm.