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Bounds for solid angles of lattices of rank three

Abstract

We find sharp absolute constants C1C_1 and C2C_2 with the following property: every well-rounded lattice of rank 3 in a Euclidean space has a minimal basis so that the solid angle spanned by these basis vectors lies in the interval [C1,C2][C_1,C_2]. In fact, we show that these absolute bounds hold for a larger class of lattices than just well-rounded, and the upper bound holds for all. We state a technical condition on the lattice that may prevent it from satisfying the absolute lower bound on the solid angle, in which case we derive a lower bound in terms of the ratios of successive minima of the lattice. We use this result to show that among all spherical triangles on the unit sphere in RN\mathbb R^N with vertices on the minimal vectors of a lattice, the smallest possible area is achieved by a configuration of minimal vectors of the (normalized) face centered cubic lattice in R3\mathbb R^3. Such spherical configurations come up in connection with the kissing number problem.Comment: 12 pages; to appear in the Journal of Combinatorial Theory

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