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Introduction You first learned of binary operations in elementary (basic) school. The objects you were using were mainly numbers and the binary operations you investigated were addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The concept of binary operations in mathematics has been defined by many based on their different understanding of the concept. Few are: A binary operation is a calculation involving two operands, in other words, an operation whose arity is two. Examples include the familiar arithmetic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. A binary operation is simply a rule for combining two objects of a given type, to obtain another object of that type.

Considering all the above definitions, I can confidently summarise the idea of a binary operation as; “a way to produce an element of a set from a given pair of elements of the same set according to a rule of operation”. By way of summary, binary operation is: Any operation or sign that combines any two elements of a given set according to some clearly defined rule. In studying binary operations on sets, we tend to be interested in those operations that have certain properties and we will discuss this further. Let us begin by taking a closer look at the properties of binary operations. These properties form the basis for a better understanding of the concept of binary operations. Remember that, the properties of binary operation are in application in many sectors or industries of our economy including the stock market, transportation, IT, energy, medicine, printing, etc.
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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PROPERTIES
1. Closure Property
(a) Suppose the binary operation of addition “+” is defined on a set of real numbers. We notice that whenever two real numbers are added, we still obtain a real number. Under those circumstances, we say that the operation of addition “+” is closed on the set of real numbers. (b) Suppose we define the binary operation of addition “+” on the set , we notice that 3+7=10, but so “+” is not closed on the set A. In general, the binary operation defined on a set S is closed on S if and only if
This resembles the idea of a nuclear family where there is no “step” son or daughter by either the father or mother. Rather, all children in the nuclear family come from the same source [same father, same mother]. In that sense, the set of nuclear family is closed. No intruders or strangers.!! Examples 1. The binary operation is defined on the set . Is the operation Answer From the equation by closed on S?
.
But
, therefore the operation
is not closed
2. The binary operation a a c a m
is defined on the set b b d b c c c b c a d d c d b
by the table below.
a b c d Is the operation
closed on the set B?
Answer From the table, we notice that
, so the operation
is not closed on the set B.
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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3. The operation
is defined on the set 1 3 1 3 5 5 5 5 5
by the table below.
1 3 5 Is the operation Answer
3 1 5
closed on S?
Since all the answers in the table (numbers in the shaded region) are members of set S, the operation is closed on the set S.
2. Commutative Property
The binary operation defined on the set S is said to be commutative if and only if
This property is properly one of the oldest and most frequently used properties that we as students of mathematics have been using since our elementary days. Changing of positions and still getting the same answer. Remember? . Therefore, the commutative property is a very simple one that does not need much explanation. Examples 1. The binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers by
. (a) Evaluate
(i). ) in (i) and (ii)? (b) Find the truth set of Answer (a) (i). (ii). (iii). What conclusion can you draw from the results
, correct to two decimal places.
(ii).
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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From the result of (i) and (ii), (b)
. Hence, the operation
is not commutative.
Using the quadratic formula; (where
)
.
Therefore the truth set of the equation is
.
2. A binary operation (i) Is the operation
is defined on the set R of real numbers by
commutative?
(ii) Find the truth set of the equation Answer
.
(i)
Since Hence, the binary operation (ii) we can deduce from (1) and (2) that is commutative.
.
Let
then the above equation becomes:
Giving
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Thus The equation The solution of the equation Hence the truth set of the equation have no real solutions so we discard these answers.
3. Associative Property
If the binary operation is closed on the set S such that;
Then the operation
is said to be associative.
Associative property is also one of the frequently used properties in mathematics. At the elementary level, we have probably heard of BODMAS – Bracket of Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. Meaning, anytime you are working with numbers, you consider those in brackets first. In other words, the operations in the bracket take precedence over all other operations. In plain language, no matter what happens, you work the bracket first. Hence, associative property says, if you work what is in the brackets first, change the position of the brackets and do the operation the other way and the answer must be the same. *(Using the concept of mixing Gari, Sugar and Milo in preparation of “soakings” to explain the concept further, we can come to the conclusion that, the resultant product is the same irrespective of the process of combination). Examples 1. The binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers by Find (i). (ii).
What conclusion can you draw from the results of (i) and (ii)? (iii). Find the truth set of the equation
(Refer to answer on page 6)
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Answer
(i).
(ii).
From the results of (i) and (ii), not associative. (iii).
Hence the binary operation
is
.
Therefore the truth set of the equation is 2. The binary operation
.
is defined on the set R of real numbers by
.
(a). Is the operation associative? (b). Find the truth set of the equation correct to 2 decimal places.
Answer
(a). Let (since associative property deals with three variables)
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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R.H.S
L.H.S
From the above equations, (b).
. Hence, the operation is associative.
Using the factor theorem, let . is a factor of .
The other factors are determined by means of long division method as shown below:
Thus
(Factorizing)
(Solving the equation
using the quadratic equation or the general formula)
.
Hence the truth set of the equation
4. Distributive Property
The distributive property uses two binary operations on the same set. If the binary operation and are defined on the set S such that;
Then the operation
is distributive over the operation
.
The Distributive property is simple. It is just a matter of one operation having authority over another operation. If an operation overrules another operation, we say the overruling operation is distributive over the other.
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Examples 1. The binary operations of addition and multiplication are defined on the set R of real numbers. Determine whether or not (a). is distributive over (b). is distributive over Answer (a). Let a, b, c be any real numbers, then the equation always true, hence is distributive over on the set R. (b). The equation is not true on the set R. Hence distributive over .
is is not
2. The binary operation . and
and
are defined on the set R of real numbers by
.
(ii). . What conclusion can you draw
(a). Evaluate (i). from the results of (i) and (ii)?
(b). Find the truth set of the equations Answer (a).
From equations (1) and (2), not distributive over the operation
. Hence the operation
.
is
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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(b).
Thus
. Hence, the truth set of the equation .
3. The binary operations a a b c a b c b b c a c c a b
and
are defined on the set S by the tables below. a a b c a b c b c a b c b c a is
(a). Determine whether or not (i). the operation commutative (b). Determine whether or not (i) the operation is associative (c). Determine whether or not the operation
is commutative (ii). the operation
is associative (ii). the operation
is
is distributive over the operation
Answer (a). (i). Using the table for the operation , (ii) Using the table for the operation
,
Hence, the operation is not commutative
From the equations (1), (2), and (3), we deduce that the operation is commutative.
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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(b). (i). Using the table for the operation ,
(iii). Using the table for the operation
Therefore Also And From the equations (1), (2) and (3), we deduce that the operation is associative.
From the equations (1) & (2), we deduce that Hence the operation is not associative.
(c). Here we want to determine whether or not possible arrangements of a, b, c. Now and Again and
for all
Also
and
is not distributive over the
From the equations (3), we deduce that the operation operation
. Note that, while the results from equations (1) and (2) are not conclusive,
the result from (3) is decisive.
4. Given the binary operation
defined on the set (b). the possible values of t
is commutative, use the
table below to compute (a). the value of (c). the value of
1 1 2 3 4 4 2 2
2 2x 3 4
3 3
4 1
1
2 3
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Answer Using the table for the operation, (Since is commutative)
Also
Again
Hence Finally,
q
Solving the equations (1) and (2) simultaneously gives Now (a). (b). The possible values of t are 3 and 1 (c).
5. Identity Property
The set P, is said to have an identity element under a given operation if and only if
The identity element, if it exists, is unique. That is to say, the set P has only one identity element. From the basic education level, we have been working with identity elements. Consider the operation of addition and multiplication .
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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We remember that, the naturally occurring identity of addition is 0. Whiles that of multiplication is 1. [Recall and ]. It is simply the neutral number that when combined with any other element of a set under a given operation leaves the value of the element unaltered. Examples 1. Find the identity element of the set Z of positive integers under the binary operation of addition . Answer Let be the identity element of Z under the operation .
Then by definition, . Since , the set Z has no identity element under the operation .
You must remember that some sets may not have identity element under a given binary operation.
2. The binary operation Answer
is defined on the set R of real numbers by . Find the identity element of R under the operation
.
Let e be the identity element of R under the operation Then by definition,
.
.
Hence the identity element of R under the binary operation
is 6.
3. The binary operation operation . Answer
is defined on the set R of real numbers by Find the identity element of R under the binary
Let e be the identity element, then by definition, Thus .
Since e (the identity element) must be unique, the solution means, it cannot be accepted as the identity element.
is inadmissible. It
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Hence, the identity element of R under the binary operation 4. The binary operation binary operation
is 0.
is defined on the set M of positive numbers by Find, if it exists, the identity element of M under the
Answer
Let e be the identity of M under the binary operation Then (By definition) Thus
Since
could be any member of the set M, and e must be unique,
cannot be
admitted as the identity element. Hence, the identity element of R under the binary operation 5. The binary operation
is 0.
is defined on the set R of ordered pairs of real numbers by
. (a). Show that (i). R is commutative
under the binary operation (ii). R is associative under the binary operation . . (b). Find the identity element of R under the binary operation Answer (a). But [Note that
Hence, the set R is commutative under the binary operation (b). Let then we wish to show whether or not
Now,
From the equations (1) and (2), we can conclude that
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Hence the binary operation
is associative on the set R.
(c). Let be the identity element of R under the binary operation Then by definition,
Hence, the identity element of R under the binary operation
is (0, 1)
6. Inverse Property
Let e be the identity element under a binary operation defined on the set S, if and only if
, then the element , is said to be the inverse of
The inverse of an element, if it exists, under given binary operation is unique. Notation: The inverse of the element under a given binary operation is denoted by
The inverse of b, topic Indices.
is never the same as the inverse presented under the mathematical
Inverse is simply the opposite of something. For example, the opposite of positive 2 under the operation of addition is negative 2 i.e. (2). Implying that, if you add the two values, the resulting number is zero (0); which is the identity element of addition . (from
In addition, the opposite of positive 2 under the operation of multiplication is
Indices). Implying that, if you multiply the two values, the resulting value is one (1); which is the identity element of multiplication
.
This implies that, the inverse element of a number (in a given set) is the number that makes results in the identity element of the given operation when operated on.
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Examples 1. The binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers by
. Find (i). the identity element e of R under (iii). For what value of Answer
(i). Let e be the identity element. By definition of identity element,
(ii). the inverse
where
not defined?
.
Hence
(ii). Also by definition of inverse,
.
(iii).
is defined when for which
. is not defined is when
Thus, the value of
2. The table below defines the binary operation
on the set Q, where
a b c d
a b d a c
b d c b a
c a b c d
d c a d b
(a). Find, giving reasons, whether or not (i). Q is closed with respect to (iii). There is an identity element (b). Find, where possible, the inverse of the element a, b, c and d (ii). the operation is commutative
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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Answers (a). (i). Q is closed with respect to the operation since all possible answers (in the table given above) are members of Q. [Refer to the Closure property for details] (ii). from the table given above,
From the above equations, we see that all possible pairs of elements are commutative with respect to . Hence the binary operation is commutative. (iii). From the table given above,
From equations (1), (2), (3) and (4), the identity element is c. Because by observation, any element operated on c results in the same element. (b). from the table given above,
Since c is the identity element under the binary operation in the table above, the inverse element of a, = d , b = b, c = c and d is c. [By definition of Inverse].
3. The binary operation
is defined on the set of R of real numbers by of real numbers
. (i). Find the inverse of t under the binary operation (ii). Find the inverse of 6
Answer (i). Let be the inverse element of t and e be the identity element
By the definition of an inverse,
But
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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(ii). Let
be the inverse of 6
SUMMARY 1. A binary operation Any operation or sign that combines any two elements of a given set according to some clearly defined rule.
2. Closure Property
3. Commutative Property
4. Associative Property
5. Distributive Property
6. Identity Property
7. Inverse Property
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS
1. The binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers by where Find (i). (ii). (iii). (iv).
2. The binary operation Find (i).
is defined on the set R of real numbers by (ii). (iii). (iv).
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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3. A binary operation
is defined on the set 2 2 3 4 5 3 3 4 5 1 4 4 5 1 3 5 5 2 3 4
by the table below
2 3 4 5
(a). Determine whether or not (i) Q is closed with respect to the binary operation
(ii). the operation
is commutative ?
(b). What is the identity element, e, under the operation (c). Find the inverse of each element 4. A binary operation
is defined on the set R of real numbers by
(a). Find
(i).
(ii).
(iii).
(b). Find the truth set of the equations
5. A binary operation
(i).
(ii).
is defined on the set R of real numbers by
(i). (ii). (iii).
. (a). Find
(b). Find the truth set of the equation 6. A binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers by
.
.
(a). Find (i). (ii). . What conclusion can you draw from the results of (i) and (ii)? (b). Find the truth set of the equation 7. A binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers by
(a). Find
(i).
(ii).
(i). (ii).
(b). Find the truth set of the operation
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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8. The binary operations
and
are defined on the set R of real numbers by
(a). Find the value of (i).
(ii).
What conclusions can you draw from the result of (i) and (ii)? 9. A binary operation is defined on the set by
.
(a). Find (i). the results of (i) and (ii)? (b). Find the values of and if
(ii).
What conclusion can you draw from
10. A binary operation
is defined on the set R of real numbers by If , show that . Hence, find the
value of b for which and r are rational numbers. 11. A binary operation
, giving your answer in the form
, p, q
is defined on the set R of real numbers by
, where Find (a). the identity element e under the operation stating the value for which no inverse exists. 12. A binary operation is defined on the set R of real numbers , where Find (a). (b). (b). the inverse of an element ,
.
13. A binary operation
is defined on the set R, of real numbers by
.
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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(a). Evaluate operation
(b). Find
(i) the identity element e of R under the (iii). The inverse of .
.
(ii). the inverse
14. A binary operation
is defined on the set R of real numbers by . Determine whether or not the operation is
(a). commutative
(b). associative
15. A binary operation
is defined on the set on the table below. If
by denotes addition mod 6 closed on T? (iii). Find .
(i). Complete and the table below (ii). Is the operation The identity element e under the operation
the inverse of the element 2
0 0 1 2 3 4 5
1
2
3
4
5
16. A binary operation
is defined on the set R of real numbers by , the (a). the identity element (b). inverse of 1
.
Find, under the operation (c). inverse of 2
17. A binary operation
a a b c b a c
is defined on the set
b a b c c c c c
by the table below.
Determine
(a). (i). whether or not Q is closed with respect to
(b). whether the
operation is commutative (ii). What is the identity element e under the operation
?
(iii). Find the inverse of each elemet
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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18. Suppose A and B are any subsets of the universal set U. The binary operation defined on U is given by complement of A and B respectively. (a). Is A commutative? (b). Show that the identity element under the operation (c). Find the inverse of the set A under the operation 19. The binary operation defined on the set R of real numbers by (i). Is (iii). Is distributive over ordinary addition commutative? (ii). Is of real numbers? associative is denotes the
20. The binary operation
is defined on the set R, real numbers by Find (i). (ii). (vi). by ? (b). Is the operation (i). commutative (d). Find the (iii).
(iv). 21. The operation
(v). is defined on the set
(a). Is the set P closed under the operation (ii). associative
(c). Find e, the identity element under the operation
inverse of each element 22. A binary operation by and Q respectively. Given that (a). find (i). (ii). (iii). (iv). is defined on the subsets P and Q of the universal set where and are complements of P
(b). Is the operation
(i). commutative (ii). associative
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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REFERENCES Fair, J. and Bragg, S. C, Algebra 1, New Jersey: PrenticeHall Inc., 1993 L. Bostock and S. Chandler, MathematicsThe Core Course for Advanced Level , Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes, 1986 WEBSITES www.wikipedia.org www.algebralab.com www.math.csusb.edu www.mathworld.wolfram.com
Lecture Notes On Binary Operations, 2011 (Oteng R. Selasie, B.Ed. Mathematics)
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