Double k-sets in symplectic generalized quadrangles

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Abstract

In classical projective geometry, a double six of lines consists of 12 lines 1, 2, . . . , 6, m 1, m 2, . . . , m 6 such that the i are pairwise skew, the m i are pairwise skew, and i meets m j if and only if ij. In the 1960s Hirschfeld studied this configuration in finite projective spaces PG(3, q) showing they exist for almost all values of q, with a couple of exceptions when q is too small. We will be considering double-k sets in the symplectic geometry W(q), which is constructed from PG(3, q) using an alternating bilinear form. This geometry is an example of a generalized quadrangle, which means it has the nice property that if we take any line and any point P not on , then there is exactly one line through P meeting . We will discuss all of this in detail, including all of the basic definitions needed to understand the problem, and give a result classifying which values of k and q allow us to construct a double k-set of lines in W(q).

Communicated by J. W. P. Hirschfeld.