Inhomogeneous extreme forms
Annales de l'Institut Fourier, Volume 62 (2012) no. 6, pp. 2227-2255.

G.F. Voronoi (1868–1908) wrote two memoirs in which he describes two reduction theories for lattices, well-suited for sphere packing and covering problems. In his first memoir a characterization of locally most economic packings is given, but a corresponding result for coverings has been missing. In this paper we bridge the two classical memoirs.

By looking at the covering problem from a different perspective, we discover the missing analogue. Instead of trying to find lattices giving economical coverings we consider lattices giving, at least locally, very uneconomical ones. We classify local covering maxima up to dimension 6 and prove their existence in all dimensions beyond.

New phenomena arise: Many highly symmetric lattices turn out to give uneconomical coverings; the covering density function is not a topological Morse function. Both phenomena are in sharp contrast with the packing problem.

G.F. Voronoi (1868–1908) a écrit deux mémoires dans lesquels il décrit deux théories de réduction pour les réseaux, l’une adaptée aux empilements de sphères et l’autre aux recouvrements de sphères. Dans son premier mémoire une charactérisation des empilements de sphères qui sont localement les plus économiques est donnée. Dans cet article, nous relions ces deux mémoires classiques.

En considérant le problème sous un autre angle, nous faisons apparaître l’analogue manquant. Au lieu de considérer les réseaux donnant des recouvrements localement économiques, nous considérons les réseaux qui sont localement les moins économiques. Nous classifions ces réseaux jusqu’à la dimension 6 et nous prouvons leur existence dans les dimensions suivantes.

De nouveaux phénomènes apparaissent  : de nombreux réseaux de haute symétrie donnent des réseaux non économiques  ; la fonction de densité de recouvrement n’est pas une fonction topologique de Morse. Ces deux phénomènes sont en contraste frappant avec le cas des empilements de sphères.

DOI: 10.5802/aif.2748
Classification: 11H55, 52C17
Keywords: lattices, Delone polytopes, spherical $t$-designs, sphere packing, sphere covering, Voronoi reduction theory
Mot clés : réseaux, polytopes de Delaunay, designs sphériques, empilements de sphères, recouvrements de sphères, théorie de réduction de Voroni
Dutour Sikirić, Mathieu 1; Schürmann, Achill 2; Vallentin, Frank 3

1 Rudjer Bosković Institute Bijenicka 54, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia)
2 Universität Rostock Institut für Mathematik 18051 Rostock (Germany)
3 Technical University of Delft Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics P.O. Box 5031, 2600 GA Delft (The Netherlands)
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Dutour Sikirić, Mathieu; Schürmann, Achill; Vallentin, Frank. Inhomogeneous extreme forms. Annales de l'Institut Fourier, Volume 62 (2012) no. 6, pp. 2227-2255. doi : 10.5802/aif.2748.

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