2 points are from equal distance to each other in dimensions 1,2,3,...

3 points can be equidistant from each other in 2,3,... dimensions

4 points can be equidistant from each other only in dimensions 3,4,...

What is the property of number dimensions that relates the number of points that can be equidistant to all other points?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ mathoverflow.net/questions/30270/… $\endgroup$ – Martin R May 28 '15 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ Let $E^{N}$ denote $N$-dimensional Euclidean space, $n$ a positive integer, and $r$ a positive real number. Assuming the question is: "If $E^{N}$ contains a set of $n$ points, any two of which are at distance $r$, is $n \leq N + 1$?", the answer is "yes". The accepted answer to this question sketches a stronger result. $\endgroup$ – Andrew D. Hwang May 28 '15 at 12:44

One side of this, there is a standard picture. In $\mathbb R^n,$ take the $n$ points $$ (1,0,0,\ldots,0), $$ $$ (0,1,0,\ldots,0), $$ $$ \cdots $$ $$ (0,0,0,\ldots,1). $$ These are all at pairwise distance $\sqrt 2$ apart.

At the same time, they lie in the $(n-1)$-dimensional plane $$ x_1 + x_2 + \cdots + x_n = 1. $$ If you wish to work at it, you can rotate this into $\mathbb R^{n-1};$ in any case, $n$ points in $\mathbb R^{n-1}.$

If you prefer, you can keep $\mathbb R^n$ and place a point numbered $(n+1)$ at $$ (-t,-t,-t, \ldots, -t) $$ for a special value of $t > 0$ that makes all the distances $\sqrt 2.$ I get $$ n t^2 + 2 t - 1 = 0 $$ or, with $t>0,$ $$ t = \frac{\sqrt {n+1} - 1}{n } = \frac{1}{\sqrt {n+1} + 1} $$


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.