Polynomials in finite geometries
Document typeConference lecture
PublisherCambridge University Press
Rights accessOpen Access
A method of using polynomials to describe objects in finite geometries is outlined and the problems where this method has led to a solution are surveyed. These problems concern nuclei, affine blocking sets, maximal arcs and unitals. In the case of nuclei these methods give lower bounds on the number of nuclei to a set of points in PG(n, q), usually dependent on some binomial coefficient not vanishing modulo the characteristic of the field. These lower bounds on nuclei lead directly to lower bounds on affine blocking sets with respect to lines. A short description of how linear polynomials can be used to construct maximal arcs in certain translation planes is included. A proof of the non-existence of maximal arcs in PG(2, q) when q is odd is outlined and some bounds are given as to when a (k, n)-arc can be extended to a maximal arc in PG(2, q). These methods can also be applied to unitals embedded in PG(2, q). One implication of this is that when q is the square of a prime a non-classical unital has a limited amount of Baer sublines amongst its secants.
CitationBall, S. Polynomials in finite geometries. A: British Combinatorial Conference. "Surveys in combinatorics, 1999". Canterbury: Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 17-35.