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Let $\cal W$ be the collection of subspaces of a vector space $V$.
Question: Is $\cal W$ an abelian group under the sum of spaces?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The law is well-defined, and commutative.

There is a neutral element, namely, the null-subspace, and $$(U_1+U_2)+U_3=U_1+(U_2+U_3)$$ for all $U_1,U_2,U_3$ subspaces of $V$. But a non-zero subspace $U$ doesn't have an inverse, because $U+U'\supset U$, as $0\in U'$. So we have a monoid, but not a group.

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Sir Davide, when you say nonzero subspace does it mean a vector space which does not contain the zero vector? –  Philip Benj Marcoby Eragon Dec 11 '12 at 7:29
    
Yes, that's what I mean. –  Davide Giraudo Dec 11 '12 at 8:59

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