Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Pariah moonshine

OPEN Nature communications | 25 Sep 2017

JFR Duncan, MH Mertens and K Ono
Finite simple groups are the building blocks of finite symmetry. The effort to classify them precipitated the discovery of new examples, including the monster, and six pariah groups which do not belong to any of the natural families, and are not involved in the monster. It also precipitated monstrous moonshine, which is an appearance of monster symmetry in number theory that catalysed developments in mathematics and physics. Forty years ago the pioneers of moonshine asked if there is anything similar for pariahs. Here we report on a solution to this problem that reveals the O'Nan pariah group as a source of hidden symmetry in quadratic forms and elliptic curves. Using this we prove congruences for class numbers, and Selmer groups and Tate-Shafarevich groups of elliptic curves. This demonstrates that pariah groups play a role in some of the deepest problems in mathematics, and represents an appearance of pariah groups in nature.Classifying groups is an important challenge in mathematics and has led to the identification of groups which do not belong to the main families. Here Duncan et al. introduce a type of moonshine which is a connection between these groups, number theory and potentially physics.
Facebook likes*
News coverage*
SC clicks
Mathematics, Monstrous moonshine, Physics, Number theory, Modular arithmetic, Number, Group, Group theory
MeSH headings
comments powered by Disqus

* Data courtesy of