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CHAPTER 1

Introduction
This course is about Groups, Rings and Fields. More than half of the course will be devoted to groups and we shall do this part rst. The group theory part will be divided into four sections: Revision of material in Dr Gordons course from last semester. In this part we shall both revise and expand our knowledge of group theory, so there will be important new material here. Symmetric and alternating groups. Group actions. The Sylow Theorems. The remainder of the course will be divided into two sections: Rings Fields The following general information is important: How to contact me: I aim to be accessible to help you outside lectures and tutorials. The best way to contact me is to ask for an appointment after one of the lectures. You may also contact me by email: p.h.krophollermaths.gla.ac.uk If it is something straightforward I will try to deal with it immediately or later the same day. Tutorials. Exercise sheets and tutorials are very important. If you are working hard at the exercises I set then you will be well prepared for the exam. Lecture Notes and all other course material will normally be available on the web. I will announce in lectures as material is being posted. The exam questions will test your knowledge of the material which is included in the lectures. The exam will have four questions of which you are asked to do three for full marks. More information will come later in the term. Well swiftly revise some things about groups which you have seen in Dr Gordons course last semester. In the abstract D EFINITION 1.1 (Group). A group consists of a set G together with a binary operation which associates an element gh in G to each ordered pair (g, h) of elements g, h G. The following axioms are required: (i) [Associativity] For all g, h, k G, (gh)k = g(hk). eg = g = ge.
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(ii) [The identity element] There is a special element e with the property that for all g G,

1. INTRODUCTION

(iii) [Inverses] To each g G there exists an element h such that gh = e = hg. A group G is called abelian if and only if it satises the additional axiom [Commutativity] For all g, h G, gh = hg. The inverse of a group element g exists and is uniquely determined. It is usually written g1 . E XAMPLE 1.2. Let n be a natural number. The sets GLn (R) and GLn (C) of n n nonsingular matrices over the elds R and C are groups under matrix multiplication. These are called the general linear groups. The general linear groups are non-abelian if and only if n 2.

D EFINITION 1.3 (Subgroup). If G is a group and H is a subset of G then we say that H is a subgroup if and only if the following conditions are satised: (i) The identity element of G belongs to H; (ii) For all g, h H, gh H; (iii) For all h H, h1 H. H G H <G means H is a subgroup of G and H = G. A subgroup H of G is called proper if H = G. It is called non-trivial if H = {e}.

The notation means H is a subgroup of G. The notation

E XAMPLE 1.4. (i) If G is a group then G G. Also the set {e} consisting of only the identity element is a subgroup. (ii) The special linear group SLn (R) consists of all n n matrices over R which have determinant 1. It is a subgroup of GLn (R). (iii) Similarly, the special linear group SLn (C) is the subgroup of GLn (C) of matrices over C with determinant 1.

D EFINITION 1.5 (Homomorphism). Let G and H be groups. A homomorphism from G to H is a function : G H such that for all x, y G, (xy) = (x). (y). When : G H is a homomorphism we dene the kernel Ker to be the set {g G : (g) = e}. The image Im of is dened in the usual way as for any other function. The following denitions also apply in group theory: A monomorphism is an injective homomorphism. An epimorphism is a surjective homomorphism. An isomorphism is a bijective homomorphism.

CONJUGATION

E XAMPLE 1.6. The determinant function det : GLn (R) R is a homomorphism from the general linear group over R to the multiplicative group R of non-zero real numbers. It is always an epimorphism. It is an isomorphism only when n = 1: GL1 (R) = R . Similarly we have an epimorphism GLn (C) C which is an isomorphism when n = 1: GL1 (C) C . = set D EFINITION 1.7 (Notation). If X and Y are subsets of a group G then we write XY for the

{xy; x X, y Y }. If X is a subset of G and g is an element of G then we write Xg for the subset X{g} and we write gX for the subset {g}X. If H is a subgroup of G then subsets of the form Hg are called right cosets and subsets of the form gH are called left cosets. Given three subsets/elements X, Y , Z in G we can dene XY Z in the obvious way. Centralizers and Normalizers D EFINITION 1.8 (Centralizers and Normalizers). Let G be a group. The centralizer of a subset X of G is dened by For a single element x G we write CG (X) := {g G : gx = xg for all x X}. CG (x) := {g G : gx = xg}

so that CG (x) is shorthand for CG ({x}). The normalizer of a subgroup H of G is dened by NG (H) := {g G; gH = Hg}. Conjugation D EFINITION 1.9 (Conjugation). Let x and y be elements of a group G. The element yxy1 is called the conjugate of x by y. We write y x as shorthand for this. If X is a subset of G then y X denotes the subset yXy1 . D EFINITION 1.10. The conjugacy class of an element g G is the set of all conjugates of g. We use the notation Cg for the conjugacy class of G. E XERCISE 1.11. (i) Show that conjugacy is an equivalence relation on G. (ii) Show that the equivalence class containing g under this equivalence relation is precisely the conjugacy class Cg . D EFINITION 1.12 (Normal subgroup). A subgroup H of a group G is said to be normal if and only if one of the following equivalent conditions holds: (i) Hg = gH for all g G; (ii) g H = H for all g G; (iii) NG (H) = G.

1. INTRODUCTION

The notation H means H is a normal subgroup of G. E XERCISE 1.13. The following exercises are easy and you should make sure that you become familiar with their solutions during the course. (i) The identity element and all inverses are uniquely determined by the group law. (ii) If x, y are elements of a group then (xy)1 = y1 x1 . (iii) Every subgroup H of a group G is itself a group in its own right with the same identity element as G. (iv) The axioms for a group are designed precisely so that for a xed pair of group elements g, h each of the equations gx = h xg = h has a unique solution. (v) The associative law has the effect that if we multiply a list g1 , . . . , gn of n group elements together then it is unnecessary to indicate bracketing. However, the order of the elements usually does matter! (vi) A group homomorphism always carries the identity element of the domain to the identity element of the codomain. (vii) The kernel and image of a group homomorphism are always subgroups. The kernel is always a normal subgroup. (viii) The centralizer of a subset X of a group G is always a subgroup. (ix) The normalizer of a subgroup H of a group G is always a subgroup. (x) Conjugation of elements of G satises the following rules: for all x, y, z,
z

(xy) = z xz y, x = y (z x),
e x

yz

x = x,

(xi) (xii) (xiii) (xiv)

e = e. If H is a subgroup of G and g is an element of G then g H is a subgroup. If X Y are subsets of a group G then CG (X) CG (Y ). Let X be a subset of a group G. Then X CG (CG (X)) and CG (CG (CG (X))) = CG (X). If X is a subset of a group G then CG (g X) = gCG (X).

(xv) If H is a subgroup of G then NG (g H) = g NG (H). (xvi) If H and K are subgroups of G and K is normal then KH is a subgroup of G. Moreover KH = HK. (xvii) If H and K are subgroups of G then KH is a subgroup of G if and only if KH = HK. D EFINITION 1.14. Let n be an integer and let g be an element of a group G. The notation gn is dened as follows.

CONJUGATION

(i) If n 2 the gn is the product of g with itself n times. For example g2 = gg and g3 = ggg. (ii) g1 = g and g0 = e. (iii) If n < 0 then gn is dened to be (g1 )n . This makes sense because the following laws hold for any group element g and integers m, n. gm gn = gm+n , (gm )n = gmn . D EFINITION 1.15. The order of a group G is its cardinality, i.e. the number of elements in its underlying set. The order of G is denoted by |G|. For this course you need to be aware of whether a given group is nite or innite and when a group is nite you need to know how to nd its order. If g is an element of a group G then the order of g is dened to be the least natural number n 1 such that gn = e, or if no such natural number exists. There are four key theorems which you should know already. The rst three are called the isomorphism theorems and they all depend on the following denition. D EFINITION 1.16. Let G be a group and let N be a normal subgroup. Then the set G/N of left cosets of N is made into a group with multiplication dened by gN.hN = ghN. The coset eN = N is the identity element of G/N. The element gN has inverse g1 N. The natural map : G G/N dened by (g) = gN is a homomorphism which has kernel N and which is surjective. Beware that this denition does not work for subgroups which are not normal. T HEOREM 1.17 (The rst isomorphism theorem). Let : G H be a group homomorphism. Let K denote the kernel of . Then K is a normal subgroup of G, the image of is a subgroup of H, and there is a natural isomorphism G/K Im . T HEOREM 1.18 (The second isomorphism theorem). Let H and K be subgroups of a group G. Suppose also that K is normal in G. Then KH is a subgroup of G, K KH, K H H, there is an isomorphism KH/K H/H K. = T HEOREM 1.19 (The third isomorphism theorem including the correspondence theorem). Let N be a normal subgroup of a group G. Then there is a bijective correspondence between the set of subgroups of G which contain N and the set of subgroups of the quotient group G/N. For N H G the correspondence is given by Under this correspondence, normal subgroups of G correspond to normal subgroups of G/N. Moreover, if K is a normal subgroup of G which contains N then G/K (G/N)/(K/N). = H H/N.
=

1. INTRODUCTION

T HEOREM 1.20 (Lagrange). Let G be a nite group and let H be a subgroup. Then |H| divides |G|. Moreover, the following three numbers are equal: (i) the number of left cosets of H; (ii) the number of right cosets of H; (iii) the number |G|/|H|. D EFINITION 1.21. Let G be a nite group and let H be a subgroup. The index of G in H is dened to be the natural number |G|/|H|. The notation is |G : H|.

E XERCISE 1.22. (i) Let G be a set together with a binary operation G G G which is associative and satises the two a priori weakened conditions there is an element e such that for all g G, ge = g, for all g G there exists h G such that gh = e. Prove that G is a group with identity element e. (ii) The commutator [x, y] of two elements of a group G is dened by [x, y] := xyx1 y1 . [x, y] = x yy1 , [xy, z] = x [y, z][x, z], [x, yz] = [x, y].y [x, z]. (iii) Show that a group G is abelian if and only if [x, y] = e for all x and y. (iv) The iterated commutator [x, y, z] of three elements x, y, z is dened by [x, y, z] := [[x, y], z]. Establish the HallJacobi identity:
x

Establish the identities

[x1 , y, z]z [z1 , x, y]y [y1 , z, x] = e

(v) Prove that if G is a group such that g2 = e for all g then G is abelian. (vi) Let G be a group. Prove that the function : G G dened by is a group homomorphism if and only if G is abelian. (vii) Suppose that G is a group such that x3 = e for all x G. Prove that for all x, y G, [x, y, y] = e. (viii) TRUE or FALSE? It follows from Lagranges Theorem that every group of order 60 has a subgroup of order 15. Every group of order 60 has a subgroup of order 1. Every group of order 60 has a subgroup of order 60. It follows from Lagranges theorem that no group of order 60 has a subgroup of order 16. (ix) Let G be a group and let H and K be subgroups. Prove that H K is a subgroup. g g2

EXAMPLES OF GROUPS

(x) Let G be a group and let H and K be subgroups. Prove that H K is a subgroup if and only if either H K or K H. (xi) Show that if H and K are normal subgroups of a group G then H K is normal. (xii) Let G be a group and let H and K be normal subgroups. Show that for all h H and k K, [h, k] H K. (xiii) Let G be a nite group and let H and K be subgroups which have coprime orders. Show that H K = {e}. (xiv) Let G be a nite group and let H and K be normal subgroups which have coprime orders. Show that for all h H and k K, hk = kh.

Examples of Groups In this course we shall meet the following examples of groups Cyclic groups Dihedral groups The quaternion group of order 8 The symmetric and alternating groups Groups of symmetries of the platonic solids The linear groups GLn (R), SLn (R), O(n), SO(n), GLn (C), SLn (C), U(n), SU(n). The additive groups of integers and rational numbers.

In this section we shall meet cyclic groups, dihedral groups and the symmetric groups. D EFINITION 1.23. A group G is said to be cyclic if and only if there is an element g G such that every element of G can be expressed in the form gn for some integer n. The element g is called a generator. E XAMPLE 1.24. Let n be a positive integer. Let n denote the set of complex numbers z which are solutions to the equation zn = 1. Then n is a cyclic group of order n. The identity element is the complex number 1. The complex number e2i/n = cos 2 + i sin 2 is a n n generator. E XERCISE 1.25. (i) 4 = {1, 1, i, i}. For this group, both i and i are generators. (ii) 8 = 1, 1, i, i, 1+i , 1i , 1+i , 1i . Four of the elements of this group are gen2 2 2 2 erators. L EMMA 1.26. Let n be a natural number. Let G be a cyclic group of order n. Let g be a generators of G. Then gn = e and n = min{m N : gm = e}. L EMMA 1.27. Let G be a group of order n. Then G is cyclic if and only if G contains an element of order n. L EMMA 1.28. If G and H are cyclic groups of the same order n then G H. =

1. INTRODUCTION

      II II II II II II

II II II II II II       

The group of rotational symmetries of a regular n-gon is cyclic of order n.

nnn nnn nn 8 nnn 88 $$ 88 $$ 88 $ $ 88 $$ 88 $$ WW $ WW WW WW WW W

     

cc cc cc cc cc

cc cc cc cc cc

     

D EFINITION 1.29. Fix n 3. The group of all symmetries (rotations and reections) of a regular n-gon has order 2n. This is called the dihedral group of order 2n. It contains n reections, n 1 rotations and the identity element. We use the notation D2n for this group. E XAMPLE 1.30. The set of 2 2 matrices over R which have the form cos sin sin cos

form a group under multiplication. This group is called SO(2). It is the group of rotational symmetries of a circle. The displayed matrix represents a rotation through an anticlockwise angle of centred at the origin. The matrices of the form cos sin sin cos

correspond to reections. The displayed matrix corresponds to a reection in the straight line through the origin inclined at angle /2. The reections and rotations together form a group which is denoted by O(2). E XAMPLE 1.31. The set of complex number z with |z| = 1 forms a group under multiplication. This group is often called the circle S1 . Its ofcial name is U(1). There is an isomorphism U(1) SO(2). = E XAMPLE 1.32. The group Sn of permutations of the set {1, . . . , n} is called the symmetric group of degree n. Note that its order is n! which usually much bigger than n. E XERCISE 1.33. (i) Prove that the order of Sn is n! (ii) Write down the orders of the groups Sn for 1 n 8. (iii) By labeling the vertices of a regular n-gon with the numbers 1 through n show that each element of D2n determines a permutation of {1, . . . , n} and that D2n is isomorphic to a subgroup of Sn . (iv) The group of symmetries of an equilateral triangle is isomorphic to the symmetric group of degree 3. (v) The group of symmetries of a square is isomorphic to a subgroup of index 3 in S4 . (vi) The group of symmetries of a regular tetrahedron is isomorphic to the symmetric group of degree 4. z z (vii) Show that for all z C, the matrix over R has determinant |z|2 z z

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DIRECT PRODUCTS

(viii) Show that the function C GL2 (R) given by z z z z z is a monomorphism. (ix) Show that the function U(1) SO(2) given by z is an isomorphism. Internal and External Direct Products D EFINITION 1.34 (Internal Direct Products). Let G be a group and let H and K be subgroups. We say that G is the internal direct product of H and K if and only if the following three conditions are satised. hk = kh for all h H and k K; H K = {e}; HK = G. D EFINITION 1.35. Let H and K be groups. The external direct product of H and K is dened to be the group with underlying set and group multiplication H K z z z z

(h, k)(h , k ) = (hh , kk ). This group has identity element (eH , eK ) and the inverse of an element (h, k) is (h1 , k1 ). We write H K for this group.

We can also form the external direct product of three or more groups.

T HEOREM 1.36 (The connection between internal and external direct products). (i) Suppose that G is the internal direct product of subgroups H and K. Then G is isomorphic to the external direct product H K. (ii) The external direct product H K of two groups H and K is the internal direct product of the subgroups H {eK } and {eH } K.

D EFINITION 1.37. Let H1 , . . . , Hn be a nite sequence of groups with n 2. Then the external direct product of the Hi is dened to be the group with underlying set H1 Hn and pointwise multiplication. External direct products allow us to build new groups out of old. E XAMPLE 1.38. The Klein Four Group is dened to be the external direct product of two cyclic groups of order two. It contains three elements of order two together with the identity element. E XERCISE 1.39. (i) If H and K are nite groups then H K has order |H|.|K|. (ii) The group of symmetries of a non-square rectangle is isomorphic to a Klein Four Group.

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1. INTRODUCTION

(iii) If H and K are abelian groups then H K is abelian. (iv) If H K is abelian then both H and K are abelian. (v) Let Cn denote a cyclic group of order n. Show that the following groups all have order 8 but that no two of them are isomorphic. C8 (vi) If m and n are coprime natural numbers then Cm Cn Cmn . = C4 C2 C2 C2 C2

(vii) If p is a prime number then every group of order p is cyclic. (viii) If p is a prime number then every abelian group of order p2 is isomorphic to one of the two groups Cp2 Cp Cp . Automorphisms D EFINITION 1.40. An automorphism of a group G is an isomorphism with domain and codomain both equal to G. The set of all automorphisms of G is denoted by Aut(G). An automorphism of G is called inner if and only if there is an element g G such that for all x G, (x) = g x. The set of all inner automorphisms of G is denoted by Inn(G). D EFINITION 1.41. The centre (G) of a group G is dened by Equivalently, (G) = CG (G). The notation Z(G) is also used for the centre of G. You may use either notation, (G) or Z(G) according to your personal preference. E XERCISE 1.42. Let G be a group. (i) Prove that Aut(G) is a group with group multiplication being composition of maps. (ii) Prove that for each g in G the function g : G G dened by x g x is an automorphism of G. (iii) Prove that Inn(G) is a subgroup of Aut(G). (iv) Prove further that Inn(G) is normal in Aut(G). (v) Prove that (G) is abelian. (vi) Prove that (G) is normal in G. (vii) Prove that the function G Aut(G) dened by g g is a homomorphism with kernel (G) and image Inn(G). (viii) Deduce that Inn(G) is isomorphic to G/ (G). E XAMPLE 1.43. (i) The centre of the general linear group GLn (R) consists of all non-zero scalar multiples of the identity matrix. The quotient group PGLn (R) is called the projective general linear group. The centre of the special linear group SLn (R) is trivial if and only if n is odd and is equal to {I} if and only if n is even. (ii) The centre of GLn (C) consists of all the scalar matrices with non-zero determinant. The centre of SLn (C) has order n. The projective general and special linear groups are dened the same way over C as over R. (G) := {g G : gx = xg for all x G}.

AUTOMORPHISMS

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F IGURE 1. The twelve elements of 12 (iii) Fix n 3. The centre of the dihedral group D2n of order 2n depends on n in the following way: D2n has trivial centre if n is odd. D2n has centre of order 2 if n is even. We shall now look at the automorphism group of the group n of nth roots of unity. We shall illustrate this by considering the special case n = 12. The 12th roots of unity are the solutions of the equation z12 = 1 in the eld C of complex numbers. When pictured in the complex plane, or Argand diagram we see that they are arranged around the circle S1 as shown in Figure 1. i Let g denote the root e/6 = cos(/6) + i sin(/6) = 23 + 2 . Then the other roots are g2 g3 ... g11 g12 = 1.

Notice that g6 = 1. So although g6 is a root of the equation z12 = 1 it is also a root of the simpler equation z2 = 1.

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1. INTRODUCTION

Notice that g3 = i. So although g3 is a root of the equation z12 = 1 it is also a root of the simpler equation z4 = 1. D EFINITION 1.44. A complex number z is called a primitive nth root of unity if and only if it belongs to n but does not belong to m for any m < n. T HEOREM 1.45. The primitive nth roots of unity are generators of the cyclic group n . The elements which are not primitive are not generators. Let g = e2i/n = cos
2 n

+ i sin

2 n

Then g is a primitive nth root of unity. The set of all primitive nth roots of unity is For each element x of n there is a unique homomorphism such that n n {gm : m N, 1 m n, gcd(m, n) = 1}.

g x. Every homomorphism arises this way. This homomorphism is an automorphism if and only if x is primitive. C OROLLARY 1.46. For each n 2 the order of Aut(n ) is equal to the number of primitive nth roots of unity. Moreover Aut(n ) is an abelian group. E XAMPLE 1.47. (i) For n = 12 we have | Aut(12 )| = 4 and Aut(12 ) C2 C2 . = (ii) If p is a prime then Aut( p ) Cp1 . = E XERCISE 1.48. Describe Aut(n ) in the cases n = 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. D EFINITION 1.49 (Eulers function). For each n 2, we write (n) for the number of primitive nth roots of unity. It is known that when p is a prime (and m 1), and that in general, if p1 , . . . , ps are the distinct prime divisors of n so that there is a unique expression n = pm1 . . . pms s 1 with each mi 1 then (n) = (pm1 ) . . . (pms ). s 1 Thus we can work out the order of Aut(n ) for any n. C OROLLARY 1.50. The cyclic group Cn of order n has abelian automorphism group of order (n). (pm ) = pm pm1