The Cayley surface

This page is dedicated in memory of my friend Sevín Recillas,
who got me interested in this surface.

Scroll down
to the
of the main features of the Cayley surface.
    Viewing hints:
  • This is a large figure and it simply may load slowly. So, the first thing to try is just to be patient for a little while.
  • If nothing loads except the light blue background, it may help to (i) click on your browser's "back" button, and then (ii) click on the "forward" button to get back to this page.
  • If the picture absolutely won't load, please click on the Static figure link.
  • Cayley surface links: Steiner surface links: Other links:  

        The figure shows part of the Cayley surface. It is a surface of degree 3, with 4 singular points. These singular points are often called nodes. Near each singular point, the surface is closely approximated by a quadric cone.

        There are 9 lines on the Cayley surface.  Six of them join pairs of nodes. The lines are not shown in this picture.  To see a picture that includes the lines, and for discussion of the lines, please click on the Introduction link at the left.

        The Cayley surface is the dual variety of the Steiner surface.  This means that the points of the Cayley surface correspond bijectively to the tangent planes of the Steiner surface (except that the correspondence is not bijective along finitely many subvarieties).

        For a discussion of specific features of the duality correspondence, please click on the Duality link at the left.



    The Java files used in this page were downloaded from the Geometry Center webpage.
    I generated the geometric data for this figure in March 2009.
    Updates completed on May 18, 2011.

    Prof. Joel Roberts
    School of Mathematics
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

    Office: 351 Vincent Hall
    Phone: (612) 625-1076
    Dept. FAX: (612) 626-2017