Moufang plane

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In geometry, a Moufang plane, named for Ruth Moufang, is a type of projective plane, more specifically a special type of translation plane. A translation plane is a projective plane that has a translation line, that is, a line with the property that the group of automorphisms that fixes every point of the line acts transitively on the points of the plane not on the line.[1] A translation plane is Moufang if every line of the plane is a translation line.[2]


A Moufang plane can also be described as a projective plane in which the little Desargues theorem holds.[3] This theorem states that a restricted form of Desargues' theorem holds for every line in the plane.[4] For example, every Desarguesian plane is a Moufang plane.[5]

In algebraic terms, a projective plane over any alternative division ring is a Moufang plane,[6] and this gives a 1:1 correspondence between isomorphism classes of alternative division rings and Moufang planes.

As a consequence of the algebraic Artin–Zorn theorem, that every finite alternative division ring is a field, every finite Moufang plane is Desarguesian, but some infinite Moufang planes are non-Desarguesian planes. In particular, the Cayley plane, an infinite Moufang projective plane over the octonions, is one of these because the octonions do not form a division ring.[7]


The following conditions on a projective plane P are equivalent:[8]

  • P is a Moufang plane.
  • The group of automorphisms fixing all points of any given line acts transitively on the points not on the line.
  • Some ternary ring of the plane is an alternative division ring.
  • P is isomorphic to the projective plane over an alternative division ring.

Also, in a Moufang plane:

  • The group of automorphisms acts transitively on quadrangles.[9][10]
  • Any two ternary rings of the plane are isomorphic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ That is, the group acts transitively on the affine plane formed by removing this line and all its points from the projective plane.
  2. ^ Hughes & Piper 1973, p. 101
  3. ^ Pickert 1975, p. 186
  4. ^ This restricted version states that if two triangles are perspective from a point on a given line, and two pairs of corresponding sides also meet on this line, then the third pair of corresponding sides meet on the line as well.
  5. ^ Hughes & Piper 1973, p. 153
  6. ^ Hughes & Piper 1973, p. 139
  7. ^ Weibel, Charles (2007), "Survey of Non-Desarguesian Planes", Notices of the AMS, 54 (10): 1294–1303
  8. ^ H. Klein Moufang planes
  9. ^ Stevenson 1972, p. 392 Stevenson refers to Moufang planes as alternative planes.
  10. ^ If transitive is replaced by sharply transitive, the plane is pappian.


  • Hughes, Daniel R.; Piper, Fred C. (1973), Projective Planes, Springer-Verlag, ISBN 0-387-90044-6
  • Pickert, Günter (1975), Projektive Ebenen (Zweite Auflage ed.), Springer-Verlag, ISBN 0-387-07280-2
  • Stevenson, Frederick W. (1972), Projective Planes, W.H. Freeman & Co., ISBN 0-7167-0443-9

Further reading[edit]