The quaternion group as a symmetry group

Vi Hart and Henry Segerman
Proceedings of Bridges 2014: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2014)
Pages 143–150


We briefly review the distinction between abstract groups and symmetry groups of objects, and discuss the question of which groups have appeared as the symmetry groups of physical objects. To our knowledge, the quaternion group (a beautiful group with eight elements) has not appeared in this fashion. We describe the quaternion group, both formally and intuitively, and give our strategy for representing the quaternion group as the symmetry group of a physical sculpture.