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Sean Li Math 4340 Notes Spring 2013 Abstract Algebra

Lecture 2 1/23/13

Groups (cont’d). Symmetry group, loosely as group of automorphisms.

(Review of group axioms, covered previous lecture.)

If in addition to the group axioms we also have the axiom of commutativity, then the group is called commutative or abelian.

Uniqueness of Identity. Suppose e and e are identities, then e = ee = e .

Uniqueness of Inverse. Suppose y, z are inverses of x, so that xy = yx = e and xz =

zx = e. Then

z = (yx)z = y(xz) = y.

Definition. Let G be a group. A subgroup H of G is a subset H of G which is a group that

is closed under the same operation as G. That is, if x, y H then xy H . We denote this

H G.

Claim. The identity and inverses in H are the same as in G.


(e ) 1 e = e. For inverses, let h H, and let x be its inverse in G and y be its inverse in H. Then hx = e, hy = e = e, so hx = hy. Then left-multiplying by x gives xhx = xhy, so that x = y.

Let e be the identity of H and e be the identity of G. Then in G, e = (e ) 1 e e =

Examples. Q , R , C , where the star means 0 is not in the set, are abelian groups under multiplication. Also, C, R, Q, and Z are abelian groups under addition. There are always two trivial subgroups: the identity and the entire group.

Finite Groups. Permutation groups. Symmetry groups, S n denotes the symmetric group of order n. Note that |S n | = n!. Note that S 3 is a group of order 6, and has subgroups of order 1, 2, 3, and 6, the divisors of 6.