Use with the (group-theory) tag. Groups describe the symmetries of an object through their actions on the object. For example, Dihedral groups of order $2n$ acts on regular $n$-gons, $S_n$ acts on the numbers $\{1, 2, \ldots, n\}$ and the Rubik's cube group acts on Rubik's cube.

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15
votes
0answers
156 views

Geometric way to view the truncated braid groups?

This is perhaps a vague question, but hopefully there exists literature on the subject. The question is motivated by an answer I gave to this question. I also asked a related question on MO, although ...
12
votes
1answer
128 views

Is $GL_2(\mathbb Z)\cdot X$ a dense subset of $\mathbb R^2$?

We know that the set $D=\{a+b\sqrt{2} \mid a,b\in \mathbb Z\}$ is dense in $\mathbb R$ because $D$ is a subgroup of $(\mathbb R,+)$ that is not of the form $\alpha \mathbb Z$. So, the following set ...
11
votes
3answers
498 views

What does an outer automorphism look like?

I am working on a project in my group theory class to find an outer automorphism of $S_6$, which has already been addressed at length on this site and others. I have a prescription for how to go about ...
11
votes
2answers
162 views

What's the idea of an action of a group?

I know the formal definition of an action over a set. I'm not asking this. What I'm asking is: what's the intuition of it? It is a way to define an algebra over a set? Since an action can exist in ...
11
votes
1answer
272 views

The Quaternions and $SO(4)$

I am interested in the map $\phi:S^3 \times S^3 \to GL_4(\mathbb{R})$ given as follows: Let $(p,q) \in S^3 \times S^3$. We identify $p$ and $q$ as real quaternions with unit norms and define ...
10
votes
3answers
410 views

Why care about group actions?

Let X be a space (topological space, manifold, etc) and let the group G act continuously on X. What extra (homotopical, homological, cohomological, diffeomorphical etc) data can extracted from X when ...
10
votes
4answers
205 views

Group Action - Permutation on the Polynomial

I'm trying to check the permutation on the polynomial is a Group Action, but I'm not getting the second axiom. I'm following my lecturer's work --- Examples 2.1 and 2.6 on page 5 on ...
10
votes
0answers
80 views

Show that $h \equiv 1 \pmod p$, where $h$ is the number of subgroups of order $p$ and $p$ divides the group order. [duplicate]

Let $G$ be a finite group and $p$ a prime number that divides the order of $G$. Let $h$ be the number of subgroups of $G$ of order $p$. Prove that there are $h(p-1)$ elements of order $p$ in ...
9
votes
1answer
109 views

The unique closed orbit in GIT quotient fibers for polynomial actions of Gl

The following reasoning must contain a flaw somewhere because I end up with something absurd, and I cannot figure out where the mistake is. I hope that someone can point it out to me. Let $M$ be the ...
8
votes
2answers
800 views

Kernel of Group Action

this is my first post here. I have a question regarding a proof in Algebra by Hungerford: Let $G$ be a group and $H$ a subgroup of $G$. Let $S$ be the set of all cosets of $H$, where $G$ acts on ...
8
votes
0answers
159 views

Functoriality of the correspondence between oligomorphic actions and $\aleph_0$-categorical theories

If a group $G$ acts on a set $X$, then the action is said to be oligomorphic if the number of orbits of $X^n$ under the action is finite for each $n$. There is a classic theorem in model theory that ...
7
votes
3answers
144 views

Realizing groups as symmetry groups

We're supposed to think of (non-Abelian) groups as groups of symmetries of some object. Sometimes it isn't obvious what this object is. For example, the fundamental group of a topological space acts ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Is the Structure Group of a Fibre Bundle Well-Defined?

Am I right in thinking that the structure group of a fibre bundle is any group $G$ of homeomorphisms of the fibre $F$ such that all transition functions map into $G$? Or is $G$ somehow the minimal ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Understanding what an action is?

This is a very simple question, and I am quite embarrassed to ask it! I'm trying to understand what an action is in general, and perhaps the best place to start is to try and outline my current ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

Invariants of binary forms under a $\begin{pmatrix} 1& 1 \\ 0& 1 \end{pmatrix}$ action

The special linear group $\text{SL}_2(\mathbb{Z})$ of $2\times 2$ invertible matrices in $\mathbb{Z}$ acts on binary cubic forms $\{ax^3 + bx^2y + cxy^2 + dy^3\}$ by acting on the vector $(x,y)^T$. ...
7
votes
1answer
58 views

Orbits of action of $SL_m(\mathbb{Z})$ on $\mathbb{Z}^m$

I'm considering the action of $SL_m(\mathbb{Z})$ on $\mathbb{Z}^m$: if $A\in SL_m(\mathbb{Z})$ and $v\in\mathbb{Z}^m$, then $Av\in\mathbb{Z}^m$. My question is: what are the orbits of this action? ...
6
votes
1answer
415 views

Ergodic action of a group

What does it mean and how is it defined if the action of a group is meant to be ergodic? Thank you for your replies!
6
votes
1answer
394 views

wiki's definition of “strongly continuous group action” wrong?

Wikipedia defines strongly continuous group action as follows: A group action of a topological group G on a topological space X is said to be strongly continuous if for all x in X, the map g ↦ ...
6
votes
2answers
91 views

Eigenbundle decomposition

Let $G$ be a finite cyclic group and $X$ a smooth manifold equipped with a trivial $G$-action. It is known that we can decompose every $G$-equivariant vector bundle with respect to the action: ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Group actions transitive on certain subsets

Let $G$ be a group acting on a finite set $X$. This also gives an action of $G$ on the subsets of $X$ of any given size, and we can ask whether this action is transitive for some specified size of ...
6
votes
2answers
895 views

G acts on G/H by left muliplication - Orbit, stabilizer and fixed points?

Reference: p. 8 http://www.math.uconn.edu/~kconrad/blurbs/grouptheory/gpaction.pdf This PDF doesn't unfold all the steps hence can someone please notify me of bungles? Thank you. I tried: $G$ ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Natural way to define a free action of a finite abelian group

Let $G$ be a finite abelian group. Then $G \simeq \mathbb{Z}_{u_1} \oplus \cdots \oplus \mathbb{Z}_{u_m}$, where $u_{i}$ is a power of some prime number. Without loss of generality I will consider $G ...
6
votes
0answers
41 views

Chern classes of free quotient manoflds

Let $X$ be a compact complex manifold. Assume that a finite group acts on $X$ freely. Then the quotient $X/G$ is again a compact complex manifold. I wonder if there is a good way to compute Chern ...
5
votes
5answers
217 views

What does it mean for a group to “act algebraically”?

I'm reading the paper How to use finite fields for problems concerning infinite fields, by Serre. In Theorem 1.2 on page 1, he says Let $G$ be a finite $p$-group acting algebraically... In the ...
5
votes
4answers
92 views

On what sets can $\mathfrak{S}_n$ act transitively?

I would like to know $\mathfrak{S}_n$ could act faithfully transitively on sets with $m$ elements, with $m > n$. I know that it is not possible if $m = n+1$ except for $n = 5$. Any ideas ?
5
votes
3answers
334 views

Without using Sylow: Group of order 28 has a normal subgroup of order 7

Prove that a group of order 28 has a normal subgroup of order 7. How can I prove this without using Sylow's theorem? I know by Cauchy’s theorem, there exists an $x\in G$ with order 7, now I just ...
5
votes
5answers
323 views

Poincaré's theorem about groups

Let $G$ be a group and $H<G$ such that $[G:H]<\infty$. There exists a subgroup $N\triangleleft G$ such that $[G:N]<\infty$. I have to show this fact (that according to my book is due to ...
5
votes
3answers
404 views

Do we gain anything interesting if the stabilizer subgroup of a point is normal?

Let $G$ be a group and $S$ a $G$-set with action $(g,s) \mapsto gs$. For some $s \in S$, let the stabilizer of $s$, $G_s=\{g \in G\,|\,gs=s\}$ be normal in $G$. What does this let us say about the ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Recovering a group action from sizes of orbits of individual elements

Let $G$ be a group (say, finite) and let it act on a set $X$ (say, also finite). For every element $g \in G$, we can consider its action on $X$. My rather vague question is What information about ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

Free objects in $\mathrm{Set}(G).$

What are the free objects in the category of $G$-sets for a group $G$? After considerable deliberation (I'm not very bright), I'm pretty sure they are the $G$-sets $X$ on which $G$ acts freely, that ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

If a finite group $|G|$ acts transitively on a set $X$ with $|X|=2^n$, $n \geq 1$, then $G$ has an involution with no fixed points

Let $G$ be a finite group acting transitively on a set $X$, where $|X| = 2^n$ for some $n \geq 1$. Show that some element of $G$ acts as an involution with no fixed points. While it is fairly easy ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Two subgroups $H_1, H_2$ of a group $G$ are conjugate iff $G/H_1$ and $G/H_2$ are isomorphic

Let $H_1$ and $H_2$ be subgroups of some group $G$. Prove that the left $G$-sets $G/H_1$ and $G/H_2$ are isomorphic (as left $G$-sets) iff the subgroups $H_1$ and $H_2$ are conjugate. If $H_1$ ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

A question about quotient under group action

Let $X$ be a Hausdorff space, and $G$ a group acting on $X$ by homeomorphisms. Let $H$ be a normal subgroup of $G$. Is it true that $X/G$ is homeomorphic to $(X/H)/(G/H)$ ? If so, can you please ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

How to check the strong ergodicity of the $SL_2(\mathbb{Z})$-action on the torus?

Suppose $\Gamma\subset SL_2(\mathbb{Z})$ is a non-amenable subgroup, especially, $\Gamma=SL_2(\mathbb{Z})$. Consider the natural action of $\Gamma$ on $S^1\times S^1=T^2$. How to check that this ...
5
votes
0answers
130 views

Why are they called orbits?

When we study actions in group theory, we consider sets of the form $$\text{Orb}_G(x)=\{gx\mid g\in G\} $$ that are called orbits. Although, the only reason I find convincing for that name is that in ...
5
votes
0answers
103 views

Group action on a manifold with finitely many orbits

I'm looking for a result along the lines of the following: Let $G$ be a group acting on a set $X$. If the action partitions $X$ into finitely many $G$-orbits, then $\dim G \geq \dim X$. For ...
5
votes
1answer
521 views

Quotient of a locally compact Hausdorff space by a proper action is Hausdorff

I am trying to prove the following: Let $G$ be a topological group acting properly on a Hausdorff locally compact space $X$, i.e. preimages of compacts sets by the map $$G\times X\to X\times ...
4
votes
3answers
329 views

Faithfulness - Group Action on Left Cosets by Left Multiplication

p. 6: http://www.math.uconn.edu/~kconrad/blurbs/grouptheory/gpaction.pdf Pretend the blue set was not given and I have to calculate it myself: For all $x \in G, f(x) = xgH$ is faithful $\iff ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

Faithful group actions and dimensions

Just a quick question. I'm trying to understand the answer to one of my previous questions. The precise problem I want to show is as follows. Let $G$ be a group acting faithfully on a manifold ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

If $\exp(itH) A \exp(-itH) = A$ for all $t$, do $A$ and $H$ commute?

Let $H$ be a self-adjoint $n \times n$ matrix with complex entries. $H$ gives rise to a continuous 1-parameter group of unitaries $t \mapsto U_t = \exp(itH) : \mathbb{R} \to U(n)$. Let $A$ be some ...
4
votes
3answers
66 views

at least one element fixed by all the group

$G$ is a p-group and $S$ is a set that $G$ acts on. p does not divide $|S|$. Why is there at least one element $a\in S$ such that $|O(a)|=1$, or in other words, $G_a=G$? I tried to ask this question ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Finding the kernel of an action on conjugate subgroups

I'm trying to solve the following problem: Let $G$ be a group of order 12. Assume the 3-Sylow subgroups of $G$ are not normal. Prove that $G\cong A_4$. Here's my attempt: let $\mathscr S$ be ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

About the category $\mathrm{Set}(G)$

I'm not good with categories. I've attempted several times to understand what a natural transformation is, and so far I've failed. But I'm trying to learn algebraic topology now, and it seems that I ...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

Graph with sharply 1-transitive automorphism group

What finite Graphs $G$ have the property that for all $v,w\in G$, there is exactly one automorphism $\phi$ of $G$ with $\phi(v)=w$? Of course, each of the three graphs with one or two vertices have ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

$Q_8$ is isomorphic to a subgroup of $S_8$ but not to asubgroup of $S_n$ for $n\leq 7$.

Question is to Prove that : $Q_8$ is isomorphic to a subgroup of $S_8$ but not isomorphic to a subgroup of $S_n$ for $n\leq 7$. I see that $Q_8$ is isomorphic to subgroup of $S_8$ by left ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Continuous Actions and Homomorphisms

I am learning about the compact-open topology and have a small proposition I am struggling to prove. Let $G$ be a topological group, $X$ a compact, Hausdorff space, and $H(X)$, the homeomorphisms of ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Group Actions of $S_n$ and $O(n)$

I have been reading up a bit on group actions and whether they are faithful, free and transitive. A question I found states: Consider the following group actions 1) The symmetric group $S_n$ ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

The order of a conjugacy class is bounded by the index of the center

If the center of a group $G$ is of index $n$, prove that every conjugacy class has at most $n$ elements. (This question is from Dummit and Foote, page 130, 3rd edition.) Here is my attempt: we have ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Orbits of $\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z}$ under automorphism subgroup action

Let $A\leq \rm{Aut}(\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z})$. I am interested in the orbits of $\mathbb{Z}/n\mathbb{Z}$ under the action of $A$, i.e. the sets $$\{\sigma i : \sigma \in A\},$$ where $i\in ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

Orbits of adjacency matrices under conjugation by permutation matrices.

(Disclaimer: I am new here, so be patient with my mistakes, but I welcome corrections, advice or comments.) I am interested in if anyone knows of ways of characterizing the orbits of an adjacency ...