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Sean Li Math 4340 Notes Spring 2013 Abstract Algebra Lecture 15 2/22/13 Prelim. In class, 2 weeks from today.

y. Tetrahedron Symmetry. A4 is the group of orientation-preserving symmetries of a regular tetrahedron. We can obtain 8 non-trivial rotation symmetries, each of which is a 3-cycle. In particular, for each of the 4 vertices, we can rotate the corresponding equilateral triangle in exactly 2 ways. Together with the identity, this forms a subgroup of at least 9. But a subgroup of S4 must have order 12 or 24. However, a symmetry obtained by reection cannot be achieved by rotations, so it cannot have order 24. Hence it must have order 12. Finally, A4 is the only proper subgroup of S4 which contains all the 3-cycles. This is fairly easy to check as (123)(124) = (13)(24), etc. Symmetry Groups of Platonic Solids. Tetrahedron, Cube, Octahedron, Dodecahedron, Icosahedron.