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Sean Li Math 4340 Notes Spring 2013 Abstract Algebra

Lecture 20 3/6/13

Prelim next lecture. 3/8/13.

Proof of Sylow Theorems (cont’d). More about proof of 2nd and 3rd Sylow theorems. Let |G| = p k m where p m.

Let S be the set of Sylow p-subgroups of G and let G act on S by conjugation. Consider the G-orbits and H-orbits.

The H-orbits have orders dividing |H|, so they are powers of p, hence they are equal to 1 or divisible by p. So |O H | = 1 (mod p).

Assume we have 2 distinct orbits. The we claim that none of the H -orbits has order 1. If it did, it would contain a subgroup. If K is normalized by H , then HK is a subgroup.

Moreover, HK is a p-subgroup as H and K are p-subgroups. HK K, so HK/K H/(H K) which is a p-subgroup, by the second isomorphism theorem.

Now |HK| = |K||HK/K|, so |HK| > |H| = |K| = p k , unless H = K. This implies p||O K |.

But we already showed p |O H |. We could reverse the H and K to arrive at a contradiction. So, it must have been the case that O H = O K , so there is only one G-orbit.

Corollary of the Proof. Every p-subgroup of G is contained in a Sylow p-subgroup of G.

In the proof let H be a subgroup of order p i , where i k. Divide S into H-orbits (where H acts on S by conjugation). There is an orbit of size 1 (because |S| ≡ 1 (mod p)). So there exists K S normalized by H . Then HK is a subgroup, so H K.

If H, K are subgroups of G and H normalizes K, then HK is a subgroup. This lets us build up bigger groups from smaller ones. However, not every group can be built up from smaller subgroups in this way.

There exist groups which are simple (do not have proper non-trivial normal subgroups). E.g., all groups of prime order are simple (cyclic groups).

Also, A n , the alternating group, is simple for n 5.

This is important in the theory of

algebraic polynomial equations.

There is a classiﬁcation of all ﬁnite simple groups.