## So gross wie Manhattan

This is a picture of the root system of type E_{8}, projected from 8 dimensions down to 2. Picture by John Stembridge, based on a drawing by Peter McMullen. Mathematicians have mapped the inner workings of one of the most complicated structures ever studied: the object known as * the exceptional Lie group E _{8}*. This achievement is significant both as an advance in basic knowledge and because of the many connections between E

_{8}and other areas, including string theory and geometry. The magnitude of the calculation is staggering: the answer, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. Mathematicians are known for their solitary work style, but the assault on E

_{8}is part of a large project bringing together 18 mathematicians from the U.S. and Europe for an intensive four-year collaboration. More at: http://www.aimath.org/E8/