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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25
votes
0answers
322 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 ...
17
votes
0answers
393 views

Is there a “ping-pong lemma proof” that $\langle x \mapsto x+1,x \mapsto x^3 \rangle$ is a free group of rank 2?

Let $f,g: \mathbb R \to \mathbb R$ be the permutations defined by $f: x \mapsto x+1$ and $g: x \mapsto x^3$, or maybe even have $g:x \mapsto x^p$, $p$ an odd prime. In the book, by Pierre de la Harpe,...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
373 views

Elementary Combinatorial Proofs using group action

In trying to prove that the number of spanning trees in $K_5$ is $125$ I adopted the following method: Let $S$ be the set of all such spanning trees and let $S_5$ act in a natural way on $S$. Now ...
13
votes
1answer
621 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 $\phi(p,...
12
votes
2answers
214 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
2answers
147 views

Subgroups of $S_n$ with exactly one fixed point for each element all have the same fixed point.

Let $G$ be a subgroup of $S_n$ (where $n$ is a positive integer) such that each non identity element $g\in G$ has exactly one fixed point. Prove there is an element of $[n]$ that is fixed by every ...
11
votes
1answer
160 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 $$...
10
votes
3answers
458 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
1answer
848 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 ↦ g....
10
votes
1answer
540 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 $...
10
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
219 views

Writing $G/A\times G/B$ explicitly as union of orbits

Let $G$ be a finite abelian group, and let $A$ and $B$ be subgroups. I'm interested in $G/A\times G/B$ with its natural $G$-set structure. In $G/A\times G/B$, the stabilizer of any element is $A\cap ...
10
votes
0answers
370 views

Distributing groups of objects into boxes

How can I enumerate the number of ways of distributing distinct groups of identical objects (but various cardinality) into $k$ boxes such that at most one box is empty $(1)$ and no combination of ...
10
votes
0answers
95 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 $G$. ...
9
votes
0answers
190 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
319 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
225 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
6answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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!
7
votes
4answers
399 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 http://www.math....
7
votes
1answer
99 views

Does an equivalence of $G$-sets and $H$-sets imply an isomorphism of $G$ and $H$?

Here $G$-sets denote the category of sets which have a left $G$-action. So the question is whether a functor $F \colon \text{$G$-sets} \to \text{$H$-sets}$ implies that we have an isomorphism of ...
7
votes
2answers
150 views

actions of $\mathbb{Z}_2$ on spheres

Let $S^m$ be the $m$-sphere and $$F(S^m,2)/\mathbb{Z}_2=\{(a,b)\mid a,b\in S^m, a\neq b\}/(a,b)\sim (b,a)$$ be the $2$-nd unordered configuration space on $S^m$. Why $F(S^m,2)/\mathbb{Z}_2$ is ...
7
votes
1answer
698 views

Clarification of notion of proper group action.

In a course on differential manifolds and Lie groups, the following theorem was stated, though never proven: Let $M$ and $N$ be smooth manifolds, and suppose $G$ is a Lie group acting on $M$. If ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

Free $\mathbb{Z}_{2}$ action on the plane

Motivated by the following question we ask: Is there a free action of $\mathbb{Z}_{2}$ by homeomorphism on $\mathbb{R}^{2}$? Lie groups with no free $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$ action
7
votes
1answer
186 views

Is the action of a finite group always discontinuous?

Let $G$ be a finite group acting on a topological space $X$. Is it true that the action of $G$ is always proper? To say that it is proper we have to show that the map $\theta : G \times X \...
7
votes
3answers
183 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
2answers
164 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: ...
7
votes
1answer
158 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
70 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? I'...
7
votes
1answer
185 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
259 views

Group actions and associated bundles

Let $P$ be a principal $G$-bundle over $B$, and let $G$ act on some space $F$ (feel free to work in your favorite category of spaces, if this helps). Then $\text{Aut}{P}$ (aka the group of gauge ...
6
votes
4answers
116 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 ?
6
votes
5answers
249 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
68 views

$H$ be a proper subgroup of finite group $G$ such that $H \cap gHg^{-1}=\{e\} , \forall g \in G \setminus H$ , then $|\cup gHg^{-1}|>\dfrac 12 |G|+1$

Let $H$ be a proper subgroup of finite group $G$ such that $H \cap gHg^{-1}=\{e\}$ for all $g \in G \setminus H$. Then is it true that $$|\cup_{g \in G \setminus H}gHg^{-1}|>\dfrac 12 |G|+1$$ If ...
6
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
468 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Number of ways to pick N numbers from 0,1,…,N-1, with possible duplication, with sum equal 0 mod N

We have the numbers $0,1,2,....,N-1$ in $\mathbb Z_N.$ I want to pick $N$ numbers from these. These are the rules: Duplication may occur We don't care about ordering, $00041$ is equivalent to $40010$...
6
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Embedding of symmetric groups into orthogonal groups

Let $\Sigma_n$ be the symmetric group of order $n$. Let $O(N)$ be the orthogonal group acting on $\mathbb{R}^N$. Question: Given a fixed $N$, how to find the maximal $n$ such that $\Sigma_n$ can be ...
6
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
102 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
51 views

Proving that the given map has the path lifting property

Let $X$ be a locally compact metric space and $G$ be a discontinuous group of homeomorphisms of $X$. I need to show that the orbit map $p :$ $X \rightarrow X/G$ has the path lifting property. ...
6
votes
0answers
55 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
883 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 X$...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
3answers
93 views

Is the action of $\mathbb Z$ on $\mathbb R$ by translation the only such action?

It is well known that $\mathbb Z$ acts on $\mathbb R$ by translation. That is by $n\cdot r=n+r$. The quotient space of this action is $S^1$. Could someone give me an example where $\mathbb Z$ acts ...
5
votes
5answers
696 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
248 views

is every totally geodesic submanifold the set of fixed points of some isometries?

It is well known that the set of fixed points of an isometry $\phi:(M,g)\rightarrow (M,g)$ is a totally geodesic embedded submanifold. (e.g here ). I ask whether the converse is true, i.e is every ...