Let W be a Weyl group and V be the complexification of its natural reflection representation. Let H be the discriminant divisor in (V/W), that is, the image in (V/W) of the hyperplanes fixed by the reflections in W. It is well known that the fundamental group of the discriminant complement ((V/W) – H) is the Artin group described by the Dynkin diagram of W.

We want to talk about an example for which an analogous result holds. Here W is an arithmetic lattice in PU(13,1) and V is the unit ball in complex thirteen dimensional vector space. Our main result (joint with Daniel Allcock) describes Coxeter type generators for the fundamental group of the discriminant complement ((V/W) – H). This takes a step towards a conjecture of Allcock relating this fundamental group with the Monster simple group.

The example in PU(13,1) is closely related to the Leech lattice. Time permitting, we shall give a second example in PU(9,1) related to the Barnes–Wall lattice for which some similar results hold.

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Last updated: 15 Nov 2019