Cutting sequences on Bouw-Moeller surfaces: an S-adic characterization

Diana Davis, Irene Pasquinelli, Corinna Ulcigrai

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We consider a symbolic coding for geodesics on the family of Veech surfaces (translation surfaces rich with affine symmetries) recently discovered by Bouw and Möller. These surfaces, as noticed by Hooper, can be realized by cutting and pasting a collection of semi-regular polygons. We characterize the set of symbolic sequences (cutting sequences) that arise by coding linear trajectories
by the sequence of polygon sides crossed. We provide a full characterization for the closure of the set of cutting sequences, in the spirit of the classical characterization of Sturmian sequences and the recent characterization of Smillie-Ulcigrai of cutting sequences of linear trajectories on regular polygons.
The characterization is in terms of a system of finitely many substitutions (also known as an S-adic presentation), governed by a one-dimensional continued fraction-like map. As in the Sturmian and regular polygon case, the characterization is based on renormalization and the definition of a suitable
combinatorial derivation operator. One of the novelties is that derivation is done in two steps, without directly using Veech group elements, but by exploiting an affine diffeomorphism that maps a BouwMöller surface to the dual Bouw-Möller surface in the same Teichmüller disk. As a technical tool, we crucially exploit the presentation of Bouw-Möller surfaces via Hooper diagrams.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-1023
JournalAnnales Scientifiques de l'École Normale Supérieure
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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