S6, with 720 elements, is the only finite symmetric group which has an outer automorphism. This automorphism allows us to construct a number of exceptional mathematical objects such as the S(5,6,12) Steiner system, the projective plane of order 4 and the Hoffman-Singleton graph. A closely related result is the following theorem: 6 is the only natural number n for which there is a construction of n isomorphic objects on an n-set A, invariant under all permutations of A, but not naturally in one-to-one correspondence with the elements of A. This can also be expressed category theoretically: consider the category whose objects are the n element sets and whose arrows are the bijections between the sets. This category has a non-trivial functor to itself only for n = 6.
number 6 coloring page