The fundamental invariants of 3 x 3 x 3 arrays

Murray R. Bremner, Jiaxiong Hu

We determine the three fundamental invariants in the entries of a $3 \times 3 \times 3$ array over $\mathbb{C}$ as explicit polynomials in the 27 variables $x_{ijk}$ for $1 \le i, j, k \le 3$. By the work of Vinberg on $\theta$-groups, it is known that these homogeneous polynomials have degrees 6, 9 and 12; they freely generate the algebra of invariants for the Lie group $SL_3(\mathbb{C}) \times SL_3(\mathbb{C}) \times SL_3(\mathbb{C})$ acting irreducibly on its natural representation $\mathbb{C}^3 \otimes \mathbb{C}^3 \otimes \mathbb{C}^3$. These generators have respectively 1152, 9216 and 209061 terms; we find compact expressions in terms of the orbits of the finite group $(S_3 \times S_3 \times S_3) \rtimes S_3$ acting on monomials of weight zero for the action of the Lie algebra $\mathfrak{sl}_3(\mathbb{C}) \oplus \mathfrak{sl}_3(\mathbb{C}) \oplus \mathfrak{sl}_3(\mathbb{C})$.

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