# Are there two non-isomorphic groups $G_1$ and $G_2$ so that $G_1$ is an r-image of $G_2$ and $G_2$ is an r-image of $G_1$?

Are there two non-isomorphic groups $G_1$ and $G_2$ so that $G_1$ is an r-image of $G_2$ and $G_2$ is an r-image of $G_1$?

Recall that a group $H$ is called an r-image of a group $G$ if there are homomorphisms $f$ and $g$ from $H$ to $G$ and from $G$ to $H$, respectively, so that $gf=id_H$.

I know that there are two non-isomorphic groups which are isomorphic to a subgroup of each other, like two free groups of rank 2 and 3.

According to answers to this Math Overflow question, there is an Abelian group $A$ such that $A\cong A^3$ but $A\not\cong A^2.$ Clearly $A$ is an $r$-image of $A^2$ while $A^2$ is an $r$-image of $A^3\cong A$. Therefore, $A$ and $A^2$ are non-isomorphic groups which are $r$-images of each other.
• I don't immediately see how the isomorphism between $A$ and $A^3$ must factor through $A^2$. Sure, there are homomorphisms going both ways (inclusion of subspaces, projections), but those do not compose to an isomorphism. Or is the $r$-image constructed some other way? Aug 30, 2017 at 8:23
• @Arthur I think it is fine. The point is that $A\hookrightarrow A^2\twoheadrightarrow A$ (and this splits), so $A$ is an $r$-image of $A^2$, and that $A^2\hookrightarrow A^3\twoheadrightarrow A^2$ (and this splits), so $A^2$ is an $r$-image of $A^3$. As $A\cong A^3$, this answers the question. Aug 30, 2017 at 9:29
• @Arthur I have a question about your answer. I know that if one of $G_1$ or $G_2$ (in the question) is hopfian group, then $G_1$ and $G_2$ are isomorphic. So the torsion free abelian group $A$ (mentioned in the above answer) can not be finitely generated. Is it true that $A$ has finite rank? Aug 30, 2017 at 11:54