2 DANNY CALEGARI
Deﬁnition1.7.
If
G
and
H
aregroups, onecanformthe
Cartesianproduct
, denoted
G
⊕
H
.Thisisagroupwhoseelementsaretheelementsof
G
×
H
where
m
: (
G
×
H
)
×
(
G
×
H
)
→
G
×
H
is deﬁned by
m
((
g
1
,h
1
)
,
(
g
2
,h
2
)) = (
m
G
(
g
1
,g
2
)
,m
H
(
h
1
,h
2
))
The identity element is
(
e
G
,e
H
)
.
Example
1.8
.
Let
S
be a regular tetrahedron; label opposite pairs of edges by
A,B,C
.Then the group of symmetries which preserves the labels is
Z
/
2
Z
⊕
Z
/
2
Z
. It is alsoknown as the
Klein
4
–group
.In all of the examples above,
m
(
a,b
) =
m
(
b,a
)
. A group with this property is called
commutative
or
Abelian
. Not all groups are Abelian!
Example
1.9
.
Let
T
be an equilateral triangle with sides
A,B,C
opposite vertices
a,b,c
in anticlockwise order. The symmetries of
T
are the reﬂections in the lines running fromthe corners to the midpoints of opposite sides, and the rotations. There are three possiblerotations, through anticlockwise angles
0
,
2
π/
3
,
4
π/
3
which can be thought of as
e,ω,ω
2
.Observe that
ω
−
1
=
ω
2
. Let
r
a
be a reﬂection through the line from the vertex
a
tothe midpoint of
A
. Then
r
a
=
r
−
1
a
and similarly for
r
b
,r
c
. Then
ω
−
1
r
a
ω
=
r
c
but
r
a
ω
−
1
ω
=
r
a
so this group is
not commutative
. It is callec the
dihedral group
D
3
and has
6
elements.
Example
1.10
.
If
P
is an equilateral
n
–gon, the symmetries are reﬂections as above androtations. This is called the
dihedral group
D
n
and has
2
n
elements. The elements are
e,ω,ω
2
,...,ω
n
−
1
=
ω
−
1
and
r
1
,r
2
,...,r
n
where
r
2
i
=
e
for all
i
,
r
i
r
j
=
ω
2(
i
−
j
)
and
ω
−
1
r
i
ω
=
r
i
−
1
.
Example
1.11
.
Thesymmetriesofan“equilateral
∞
–gon”(i.e. theuniqueinﬁnite
2
–valenttree) deﬁnes a group
D
∞
, the
inﬁnite dihedral group
.
Example
1.12
.
The set of
2
×
2
matrices whose entries are real numbers and whose determinants do not vanish is a group, where multiplication is the usual multiplication of matrices. The set of
all
2
×
2
matrices is
not
naturally a group, since some matrices are notinvertible.
Example
1.13
.
The group of permutations of the set
{
1
...n
}
is called the
symmetric group
S
n
. A permutation breaks the set up into subsets on which it acts by cycling the members.For example,
(3
,
2
,
4)(5
,
1)
denotes the element of
S
5
which takes
1
→
5
,
2
→
4
,
3
→
2
,
4
→
3
,
5
→
1
. The group
S
n
has
n
!
elements. A
transposition
is a permutation whichinterchanges exactly two elements. A permutation is
even
if it can be written as a productof an even number of transpositions, and
odd
otherwise.
Exercise 1.14.
Show that the symmetric group is not commutative for
n >
2
. Identify
S
3
and
S
4
as groups of rigid motions of familiar objects. Show that an even permutation isnot an odd permutation, and vice versa.
Deﬁnition 1.15.
A
subgroup
H
of
G
is a subset such that if
h
∈
H
then
h
−
1
∈
H
, andif
h
1
,h
2
∈
H
then
h
1
h
2
∈
H
. With its inherited multiplication operation from
G
,
H
isa group. The
right cosets
of
H
in
G
are the equivalence classes
[
g
]
of elements
g
∈
G
where the equivalence relation is given by
g
1
∼
g
2
if and only if there is an
h
∈
H
with
g
1
=
g
2
h
.
Exercise 1.16.
If
H
is ﬁnite, the number of elements of
G
in each equivalence class areequal to

H

, the number of elements in
H
. Consequently, if

G

is ﬁnite,

H

divides

G

.