Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Let $G$ be a profinite group (or equivalently a compact and totally disconnected topological group ) with the property that all of its normal subgroups of finite index are open sets.

Does this imply that all of its subgroups of finite index are open sets ? (if all subgroups of finite index from $G$ are open sets, than $G$ is called strongly complete ; this motivates the title of this post)

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted


Lemma: Let $H$ be a subgroup of finite index in a group $G$. Then $H$ contains a normal subgroup of finite index, namely $\bigcap_{g \in G} gHg^{-1}$.

Proof. $G$ acts on the left cosets $G/H$ by translation. Since $|G/H|$ is finite, the kernel of this action has finite index (dividing $|G/H|!$), and it is precisely the above intersection. $\Box$

So every subgroup of finite index is a union of cosets of a normal subgroup of finite index. Hence if the latter are open, then so are the former.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.