Use with the (group-theory) tag. The tag "finite-groups" refers to questions asked in the field of Group Theory which, in particular, focus on the groups of finite order.

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141
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2answers
4k views

Can we ascertain that there exists an epimorphism $G\rightarrow H$?

Let $G,H$ be finite groups. Suppose we have an epimorphism $$G\times G\rightarrow H\times H$$ Can we find an epimorphism $G\rightarrow H$?
138
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there a 0-1 law for the theory of groups?

For each first order sentence $\phi$ in the language of groups, define : $$p_N(\phi)=\frac{\text{number of nonisomorphic groups $G$ of order} \le N\text{ such that } \phi \text{ is valid in } ...
83
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a characterization of groups with the property $\forall N\unlhd G,\:\exists H\leq G\text{ s.t. }H\cong G/N$?

A common mistake for beginning group theory students is the belief that a quotient of a group $G$ is necessarily isomorphic to a subgroup of $G$. Is there a characterization of the groups in which ...
67
votes
2answers
5k views

More than 99% of groups of order less than 2000 are of order 1024?

In Algebra: Chapter 0, the author made a remark (footnote on page 82), saying that more than 99% of groups of order less than 2000 are of order 1024. Is this for real? How can one deduce this result? ...
47
votes
8answers
5k views

Are there real world applications of finite group theory?

I would like to know whether there are examples where finite group theory can be directly applied to solve real world problems outside of mathematics. (Sufficiently applied mathematics such as ...
46
votes
3answers
948 views

How to think of the group ring as a Hopf algebra?

Given a finite group $G$ and a field $K$, one can form the group ring $K[G]$ as the free vector space on $G$ with the obvious multiplication. This is very useful when studying the representation ...
34
votes
3answers
528 views

If $\lvert\operatorname{Hom}(H,G_1)\rvert = \lvert\operatorname{Hom}(H,G_2)\rvert$ for any $H$ then $G_1 \cong G_2$

Let $G_1$ and $G_2$ be two finite groups such that for any finite group $H$, $\lvert\operatorname{Hom}(H,G_1)\rvert = \lvert\operatorname{Hom}(H,G_2)\rvert$. How can I show that $G_1 \cong G_2$ ?
31
votes
9answers
6k views

Examples of nonabelian groups.

Can anybody provide some examples of finite nonabelian groups which are not symmetric groups or dihedral groups?
31
votes
2answers
473 views

Are there/Why aren't there any simple groups with orders like this?

The orders of the simple groups (ignoring the matrix groups for which the problem is solved) all seem to be a lot like this: ...
30
votes
3answers
688 views

Alternative proofs that $A_5$ is simple

What different ways are there to prove that the group $A_5$ is simple? I've collected these so far: By directly working with the cycles: page 483 of ...
30
votes
1answer
415 views

Sudokus as composition tables of finite groups

If $G$ is a finite group then the composition table of $G$ is a latin square (ie, each row and column contains each group element exactly once). Assume now that $|G| = n^2$ for some natural number ...
29
votes
1answer
422 views

Is the Galois group associated to a random polynomial solvable with probability 0?

Choose a random polynomial $P\in\mathbb{Z}[x]$ of degree $n$ and coefficients $\leq n$ and $\geq-n$. Let $r_1,\ldots,r_n$ be the roots of $P$ and consider ...
27
votes
1answer
2k views

Isomorphic quotients by isomorphic normal subgroups

In this recent question, Iota asked if, given a finite group $G$ and two isomorphic normal subgroups $H$ and $K$, it would follow that $G/H$ and $G/K$ are isomorphic. This is not true (a simple ...
26
votes
6answers
945 views

Existence of a normal subgroup with $|\operatorname{Aut}{(H)}|>|\operatorname{Aut}{(G)}|$

Does there exists a finite group $G$ and a normal subgroup $H$ of $G$ such that $|\operatorname{Aut}{(H)}|>|\operatorname{Aut}{(G)}|$?
26
votes
1answer
1k views

Six Frogs - Puzzle

I had come across a puzzle: The six educated frogs in the illustration are trained to reverse their order, so that their numbers shall read 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, with the blank square in its ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Finite Groups with exactly $n$ conjugacy classes $(n=2,3,…)$

I am looking to classify (up to isomorphism) those finite groups $G$ with exactly 2 conjugacy classes. If $G$ is abelian, then each element forms its own conjugacy class, so only the cyclic group of ...
25
votes
1answer
265 views

Smallest order for finite group that needs many elements to generate it

Let $f(n)$ denote the order of the smallest finite group which cannot be generated with less than $n$ elements. Trivially $f(n) \leq 2^n$ since ${\mathbb F}_2^n$ can be seen as a vector space with ...
25
votes
2answers
592 views

What does the group ring $\mathbb{Z}[G]$ of a finite group know about $G$?

The group algebra $k[G]$ of a finite group $G$ over a field $k$ knows little about $G$ most of the time; if $k$ has characteristic prime to $|G|$ and contains every $|G|^{th}$ root of unity, then ...
23
votes
1answer
469 views

Showing that $ϕ(x)=x^n$ is a homomorphism from $G\to Z(G)$

Let $G$ be a group with $|G:Z(G)|=n$ then $\phi(x)=x^n$ is a homomorphism from $G$ to $Z(G)$. I guess it has a proof using transfer theory, I wonder whether it has an elemantary proof or not. ...
22
votes
6answers
472 views

Generic elementary group theory problems.

This question is about generic group theory problems. here are examples for what I’m referring to: Prove that any group of order $p^2$, where $p$ is a prime, is abelian. Let $G$ be a ...
22
votes
1answer
660 views

Recovering a finite group's structure from the order of its elements.

Suppose you know the following two things about a group $G$ with $n$ elements: the order of each of the $n$ elements in $G$; $G$ is uniquely determined by the orders in (1). Question: How ...
22
votes
2answers
587 views

Is a group uniquely determined by the sets {ab,ba} for each pair of elements a and b?

This question has been cross-posted here on mathoverflow. For a given group $G=(S,\cdot)$ with underlying set $S$, consider the function $$ F_G:S\times S\to\mathcal P(S)\\ ...
21
votes
2answers
522 views

There are at most two prime numbers dividing $|G|$

Need just hints Let $G$ is a finite non-abelian group such that all its proper subgroups are abelian. Then there are at most two different prime numbers dividing $|G|$. I found some ideas about ...
21
votes
2answers
508 views

Lower bounds on the number of elements in Sylow subgroups

Let $p$ be a prime and $n \geq 1$ some integer. Furthermore, let $G$ be a finite group where $p$-Sylow subgroups have order $p^n$. Denote by $n_p(G)$ the number of Sylow $p$-subgroups of $G$. Denote ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Product of all elements in an odd finite abelian group is 1

This should be an easy exercise: Given a finite odd abelian group $G$, prove that $\prod_{g\in G}g=e$. Indeed, using Lagrange's theorem this is trivial: There is no element of order 2 (since the order ...
19
votes
1answer
327 views

Finite Groups with a subgroup of every possible index

Suppose $G$ is a finite group, with $|G|=n$. Suppose also that for every positive integer $m\mid n$, $G$ has a subgroup of index $m$. Are there any general statements (structural or otherwise) I can ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Group of order 15 is abelian

How do I prove group of order 15 is abelian? Is there any general strategy to prove that a group of particular order(composite order) is abelian?
18
votes
5answers
286 views

$\sum\limits_{\sigma \in S_n} (\mbox{number of fixed points of } \sigma)^2 $

I came across this result while doing some representation theory of the permutation group $S_n$ $$ \sum\limits_{\sigma \in S_n} (\mbox{number of fixed points of } \sigma)^2 = 2 n!$$ This can be ...
18
votes
2answers
416 views

Can we uniquely determine a group given the orders of its elements?

Given a finite group $G$ and its order, consider a scenario in which we also know the orders of each of its elements. Does this information alone uniquely determine the group? If not, can we at ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Number of subgroups of prime order

I've been doing some exercises from my introductory algebra text and came across a problem which I reduced to proving that: The number of distinct subgroups of prime order $p$ of a finite group ...
18
votes
2answers
488 views

Groups and generating sets

This question feels completely trivial and I am somewhat embarrassed to be asking it, but I am having a brain dead moment and failing to prove what I'm sure is a completely trivial statement about ...
18
votes
1answer
460 views

Is there a geometric idea behind Sylow's theorems?

I have a confession to make: none of the proofs of Sylow's theorems I saw clicked with me. My first abstract algebra courses were more on the algebraic side (without mention of group actions and ...
17
votes
5answers
599 views

Upper bounds on the size of $\operatorname{Aut}(G)$

Any automorphism of a group $G$ is a bijection that fixes the identity, so an easy upper bound for the size of $\operatorname{Aut}(G)$ for a finite group $G$ is given by ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How does one compute the sign of a permutation?

The sign of a permutation $\sigma\in \mathfrak{S}_n$, written ${\rm sgn}(\sigma)$, is defined to be +1 if the permutation is even and -1 if it is odd, and is given by the formula $${\rm sgn}(\sigma) ...
17
votes
3answers
661 views

How “abelian” can a non-abelian group be?

Something I have been wondering: in general, is there a bound for how many elements in a finite non-abelian group $G$ can commute with every other element? Equivalently, is there is a bound for the ...
17
votes
2answers
968 views

exercise in Isaacs's book on Character Theory

I'm stuck on an exercise in Isaacs's book "Character Theory of Finite Groups" - it relates to something I'm looking at as part of ongoing research, but I guess it belongs here rather than on ...
17
votes
1answer
452 views

A special subgroup of groups of order $n$

Let $G$ be a group with $|G| = n$ and let $ \emptyset \ne S \subseteq G$. I want to show that $S^n$ is a SUBGROUP of $G$ where by $S^n$ I mean the set $\lbrace s_1\cdots s_n \; | \; s_i \in S\rbrace$. ...
17
votes
1answer
446 views

Probability that two randomly chosen permutations will generate $S_n$.

Every undergraduate learns a fact about the symmetric group that $(1\,2)$ and $(1\,2\,\cdots\,n)$ generate $S_n$. Also, it is interesting to know that for a prime $p$, any 2-cycle and any $p$-cycle ...
17
votes
0answers
402 views

Subgroups as isotropy subgroups and regular orbits on tuples

Is there some natural or character-theoretic description of the minimum value of d such that G has a regular orbit on Ωd, where G is a finite group acting faithfully on a set Ω? Motivation: In ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Constructions of the smallest nonabelian group of odd order

I write $|X|$ for the number of elements in a finite set $X$. Recall some basic facts: If $p$ is a prime number, then any group $G$ of order $p^2$ is abelian. Sketch of proof: Fix a prime $p$ ...
16
votes
1answer
397 views

Books to understand the construction of all groups of a specific order

The algorithms introduced by Besche–Eick (1999) were used to construct (or count) the groups of order up to 2000 in Besche–Eick–O'Brien (2002), yet I find the algorithms somewhat inaccessible. How ...
16
votes
2answers
372 views

Which finite groups are the group of units of some ring?

Motivated by this question: Which finite groups are the group of units of some ring? Which finite groups are the group of units of some finite ring? Which finite abelian groups are the group of ...
16
votes
3answers
635 views

Is there a geometric realization of Quaternion group?

Is there a geometric realization of the Quaternion group: $$Q = \langle i,j,k \mid i^2 = j^2 = k^2 = ijk \rangle$$ I dont think it can be realized as the symmetries/rotations of a 3D shape so could ...
16
votes
2answers
413 views

Writing a group element as $ghg^{-1} h^{-1}$ and as $g^2 h^2$

I recently read the elegant paper Generalized Frobenius Schur Numbers, by Bump and Ginzburg, which I learned about here. The results in this paper imply the following: Let $G$ be a finite group ...
16
votes
0answers
505 views

Rotman's exercise 2.8 “$S_n$ cannot be imbedded in $A_{n+1}$”

This question is about the (in)famous Rotman's exercise 2.8 in "An Introduction to the Theory of Groups." I've searched and found similar questions here and in MO, but none of them contains a valid ...
16
votes
0answers
170 views

References on the theory of $2$-groups.

Many theorems about odd order $p$-groups fail miserably for $2$-groups. These can range from simple $2$-group exceptions (e.g. Frobenius complements can be either cyclic or generalized quaternion) to ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Derived subgroup where not every element is a commutator

Let $G$ be a group and let $G'$ be the derived subgroup, defined as the subgroup generated by the commutators of $G$. Is there an example of a finite group $G$ where not every element of $G'$ is a ...
15
votes
2answers
491 views

Why isn't there interest in nontrivial, nondiscrete topologies on finite groups?

A topology on a group is required to be compatible with the group structure (multiplication must be a continuous map $G\times G\to G$ and inversion must be continuous). I've only ever seen the ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Enumerating all subgroups of the symmetric group

Is there an efficient way to enumerate the unique subgroups of the symmetric group? Naïvely, for the symmetric group $S_n$ of order $\left | S_n \right | = n!$, there are $2^{n!}$ subsets of the group ...
15
votes
1answer
855 views

Group of even order contains an element of order 2

I am working on the following problem from group theory: If $G$ is a group of order $2n$ (i.e., the cardinality of the set $G$ is $2n$), show that the number of elements of $G$ of order $2$ is odd. ...