We derive explicitly the structural properties of the p-adic special orthogonal groups in dimension three, for all primes p, and, along the way, the two-dimensional case. In particular, starting from the unique definite quadratic form in three dimensions (up to linear equivalence and rescaling), we show that every element of SO(3)p is a rotation around an axis. An important part of the analysis is the classification of all definite forms in two dimensions, yielding a description of the rotation subgroups around any fixed axis, which all turn out to be abelian and parametrised naturally by the projective line. Furthermore, we find that for odd primes p, the entire group SO(3)p admits a representation in terms of Cardano (aka nautical) angles of rotations around the reference axes, in close analogy to the real orthogonal case. However, this works only for certain orderings of the product of rotations around the coordinate axes, depending on the prime; furthermore, there is no general Euler angle decomposition. For p = 2, no Euler or Cardano decomposition exists.

### Geometry of the p-Adic Special Orthogonal Group SO(3)p

#### Abstract

We derive explicitly the structural properties of the p-adic special orthogonal groups in dimension three, for all primes p, and, along the way, the two-dimensional case. In particular, starting from the unique definite quadratic form in three dimensions (up to linear equivalence and rescaling), we show that every element of SO(3)p is a rotation around an axis. An important part of the analysis is the classification of all definite forms in two dimensions, yielding a description of the rotation subgroups around any fixed axis, which all turn out to be abelian and parametrised naturally by the projective line. Furthermore, we find that for odd primes p, the entire group SO(3)p admits a representation in terms of Cardano (aka nautical) angles of rotations around the reference axes, in close analogy to the real orthogonal case. However, this works only for certain orderings of the product of rotations around the coordinate axes, depending on the prime; furthermore, there is no general Euler angle decomposition. For p = 2, no Euler or Cardano decomposition exists.
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2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: `https://hdl.handle.net/11581/476243`