0---1---0 / \ / \ / x---y---x / \ / \ / 0---1---0 (0=2)

Where x is a primitive 6th root of unity, so like the sum of any two of {x,y,1} is the third, and xy = 1, and..., you know, it behaves like how GF(4) behaves.

And also I can represent GF(7) differently from "the integers modulo 7" as living in a lattice with a fundamental domain like so:

0 \ / \ -5---6---0 \ / \ / --3---4-- / \ / \ 0---1---2- \ / \ 0

(the things I'm labelling 1 and 2 are really the complex numbers 1 and 2. The things labelled 3, 4, 5, 6 are the Eisenstein integers they spatially appear to be, and correspond to the evident elements of GF(7))

Similarly GF(5) can be made to look like

0 | | --3---4---0 | | 0---1---2-- | | 0

(with again 1 and 2 really being 1 and 2, and 3 ∈ GF(5) being 1 + i and 4 ∈ GF(5) being 2 + i)

Dunno if that is particularly meaningful.

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Thoughts during lunch:

You can't do GF(p

^{k}) for any k ≥ 3 because there's not enough places for zeroes. Any x in the field has to have px = 0 mod the lattice, but there's only p

^{2}distinct places in the fundamental domain on the lattice that have that property. So GF(8) is right out.

But at least GF(9) = GF(3)[x]/(x

^{2}- x - 1) seems to be doable: writing y for -x = 2x just to make my ascii art fit better, I can do

0 --- 1 --- 2 --- 0 | | | | | | | | y+2 -- y -- y+1 - y+2 | | | | | | | | x+1 - x-1 -- x -- x+1 | | | | | | | | 0 --- 1 --- 2 --- 0

such that x=2+i is a generator mod the lattice {3,3i}, for the powers of x go like 1,x,x

^{2},...,x

^{7},x

^{8}=

1, x, x+1, 2x+1, 2, 2x, 2x+2, x+2, 1

That's pretty weird, then. Can I do all fields GF(p

^{2}) like this? Can I make any sense of GF(p

^{k}) for any k ≥ 3 over some other base field? Obviously the quaternions aren't commutative, but maybe multiplication on some subset of it would end up commutative

*modulo*a well-chosen lattice?

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Hmm the only ones I can find now are

1 + 2i generates GF(9) mod {3,3i}.

1 + 2i generates GF(49) mod {7,7i}

1 + 4i generates GF(121) mod {11,11i}

1 + 2i generates GF(529) mod {23,23i}

so I guess squares of 3-mod-4 primes are more well-behaved?

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Well at least for all primes up to 571 that are 3 mod 4, it seems like the p-by-p square of {a+bi|0 ≤ a, b < p}, modulo the lattice generated by {p,pi}, is isomorphic to GF(p

^{2}). (There's nothing special about 571, it's just the last prime in a list of primes I copy-pasted from somewhere)

#!/usr/bin/perl sub testGenerator { my ($p, $zr, $zi) = @_; my ($x, $y) = (1, 0); my (%seen) = (); for ($t = 0; $t < $p * $p; $t++) { my $a = ($x * $zr - $y * $zi) % $p; my $b = ($y * $zr + $x * $zi) % $p; $x = $a; $y = $b; last if $seen{"$x,$y"}; $seen{"$x,$y"} = 1; } return $t; } for (my $p = 3; $p < 1000; $p++) { for (my $x = 0; $x < 15; $x++) { if (testGenerator($p, 1, $x) == $p * $p - 1) { print "$p gen by 1 + ${x}i\n"; last; } } }

Oh! and it seems like GF(p

^{2}) for p = 2 mod 3 can be embedded in a nice p-by-p parallelogram in the Eisenstein integers.. So GF(169) is the first one I'm really uncertain about, since 13 is the smallest prime that's not 2 mod 3 or 3 mod 4.

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There aren't any solutions of 0 = a

^{2}+ b

^{2}mod p when p is a prime 3 mod 4 and 0 < a,b < p, are there? Then defining the inverse of a + bi in the usual way as a/(a

^{2}+ b

^{2}) + i * b/(a

^{2}+ b

^{2}) (where the divisions by a

^{2}+ b

^{2}are taken in the field GF(p)) will always be well-defined.