# Why the equation in Burnside's lemma has only one solution

Burnside's lemma (for finite group) tells us that the square sum of dimensions over all inequivalent irreducible representations is equal to the order of the group, i.e.

$$d_1^2 + d_2^2 + \cdots + d_r^2 = |G|$$

where $d_i$ is the dimension of representation $D^{(i)}(g)$. It seems that for all finite groups, this equation has only one solution (for $d_i$). Is this true and how can I prove it or find a counter-example?

• Sounds rather unlikely to me. Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 4:24
• Even if you know $r$ (and that is also not always the case) the $d_i$ are not uniquely determined. Thus, this equation is very helpful, but is not the final word on the $d_i$. (it so turns out that $d_i$ is a multiple of $|G|$ for each $i$, but even then uniqueness cannot be guaranteed). Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 4:39
• @астонвіллаолофмэллбэрг: Other way around: each $d_i$ divides $|G|$. Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 5:01
• Yes, sorry : $d_i$ is a divisor of $|G|$. While this reduces the choices of $d_i$ greatly, it still does not guarantee uniqueness, but makes the above equation supremely helpful. Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 5:31

$$8 \times 1^2 + 2 \times 2^2 + 4^2 = 4\times 1^2 + 7 \times 2^2 = 32.$$ There are groups of order $32$ (numbers $6$ and $18$ in the database) with these character degrees.
If a finite group $G$ has a representation with $d_i=2$ and $d_j=9$ then one can replace these by $6$ and $7$ without affecting the sum of the $d_i^2$s. So the equation $d_1^2 + d_2^2 + \cdots + d_r^2 = |G|$ may have multiple solutions in positive integers.