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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127
votes
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 $G\rightarrow H$?
118
votes
1answer
3k 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 } ...
79
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a characterization of groups with the property $\exists N \unlhd G : \not \exists H \leq G\: \text{ s.t. } \:H\cong G/N$?

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 for groups for which this ...
59
votes
2answers
4k 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? ...
45
votes
3answers
902 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 ...
44
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
483 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 $G_1 \cong G_2$ ?
30
votes
2answers
443 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: ...
28
votes
3answers
536 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
888 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 $|\operatorname{Aut}{(H)}|>|\operatorname{Aut}{(G)}|$?
23
votes
10answers
4k views

Examples of nonabelian groups.

Can anybody provide some examples of finite nonabelian groups which are not symmetric groups or dihedral groups?
23
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
922 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
321 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
594 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
457 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
324 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
488 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 ...
19
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
305 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 ...
19
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
473 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
370 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
2answers
890 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
376 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 ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
517 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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) ...
16
votes
1answer
336 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
347 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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?
15
votes
1answer
317 views

What are the symmetries of a colored rubiks cube?

Technically the symmetry group of the rubiks cube is the symmetry group of the cube with all its label peeled off. The normal rubiks cube with all its faces painted different colors has trivial ...
14
votes
5answers
533 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
312 views

Does $abab=baba$ imply commutativity in a Group of uneven order?

Suppose $(G,\cdot)$ is a finite group of uneven order such that $abab=baba$ for any $a,b\in G$. Does this mean that $G$ is commutative?
14
votes
1answer
596 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. ...
14
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
396 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 $\lbrace s_1\cdots s_n \; | \; s_i \in S\rbrace$. ...
14
votes
1answer
260 views

When is $\mathfrak{S}_n \times \mathfrak{S}_m$ a subgroup of $\mathfrak{S}_p$?

Inspired by another question, I wondered when $\mathfrak{S}_n \times \mathfrak{S}_m$ is isomorphic to a subgroup of $\mathfrak{S}_p$. Eliminating the obvious cases, the question becomes: Let ...
14
votes
1answer
316 views

The “architecture” of a finite group

I think that the aim of the finite group theory is the following: Given a generic finite group $G$, study completely the subgroup structure of $G$. There are at least two ways to achieve this ...
14
votes
1answer
345 views

What are all conditions on a finite sequence $x_1,x_2,…,x_m$ such that it is the sequence of orders of elements of a group?

My Definition: The finite sequence $x_1,x_2,...,x_m$ of nonnegative integers, is said to be generated by the finite group $G$ iff $n:=|G|=x_1+x_2+...+x_m$. $n$ has $m$ divisors. if ...
14
votes
2answers
448 views

Rubik Cube finite non-abelian group

I was reading the following paper from MIT: http://web.mit.edu/sp.268/www/rubik.pdf The paper is not difficult to understand, it is more or less a short introduction into group theory, taking the ...
14
votes
1answer
260 views

How many subgroups does $\mathbb{Z}_6 \times\mathbb{Z}_6 \times\mathbb{Z}_6 \times\mathbb{Z}_6 $ have?

How many subgroups does $H = \mathbb{Z}_6 \times\mathbb{Z}_6 \times\mathbb{Z}_6 \times\mathbb{Z}_6 $ have? $\mathbb{Z}_6$ has 4 subgroups (including itself), so the answer is at least $4^4$. But, ...
14
votes
3answers
429 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 ...
14
votes
0answers
312 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
414 views

Order of the smallest group containing all groups of order $n$ as subgroups.

Let $n\in \Bbb N$ be fixed and $m\in \Bbb N$ be the least number such that there exists a group of order $m$ in which all groups of order $n$ can be (isomorphically) embedded. Can we deduce $n!=m$?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

(Organic) Chemistry for Mathematicians

Recently I've been reading "The Wild Book" which applies semigroup theory to, among other things, chemical reactions. If I google for mathematics and chemistry together, most of the results are to do ...
13
votes
2answers
782 views

Application of the Sylow Theorems to groups of order $p^2q$

I am trying to show that any group of order $p^2q$ has a normal Sylow subgroup where $p$ and $q$ are distinct primes. In the case $p>q$ I have no problem.. By Sylow $n_p|q$, so $n_p$ is either $1$ ...