Fuchsian triangle groups and Grothendieck dessins. Variations on a theme of Belyi Academic Article uri icon


  • According to a theorem of Belyi, a smooth projective algebraic curve is defined over a number field if and only if there exists a non-constant element of its function field ramified only over 0, 1 and ∞. The existence of such a Belyi function is equivalent to that of a representation of the curve as a possibly compactified quotient space of the Poincaré upper half plane by a subgroup of finite index in a Fuchsian triangle group. On the other hand, Fuchsian triangle groups arise in many contexts, such as in the theory of hypergeometric functions and certain triangular billiard problems, which would appear at first sight to have no relation to the Galois problems that motivated the above discovery of Belyi. In this note we review several results related to Belyi's theorem and we develop certain aspects giving examples. For preliminary accounts, see the preprint [Wo1], the conference proceedings article [BauItz] and the "Comptes Rendus" note [CoWo2]. © 1994 Springer-Verlag.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cohen, P. B., Itzykson, C., & Wolfart, J.

citation count

  • 16

publication date

  • July 1994