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# Homework 2

Professor Novak
MATH 103A - Modern Algebra
October 13, 2017

Exercise 4.1. Work out the multiplication table of the dihedral group D4 . How many
elements of order 2 are there in Dn ?

Solution. Let r be a rotation of the plate through 2 about the axis of symmetry perpen-
dicular to the plate, and s rotation through about an axis of symmetry which lies in the
plane of the plate. Then, we have the following multiplication table of D4 .

e r r2 r3 s rs r2 s r3 s
2 3
e e r r r s rs r2 s r3 s
2 3
r r r r e rs r2 s r3 s s
r2 r2 r3 e r r2 s r3 s s rs
r3 r3 e r r2 r3 s s rs r2 s
3 2 3
s s r s r s rs e r r2 r
rs rs s r3 s r2 s r e r3 r2
r2 s r2 s rs s r3 s r2 r e r3
r3 s 3 2
r s r s rs s r3 r 2
r e

If n is odd, then there are n elements of order 2 in Dn . If n is even, then there are n + 1
elements of order 2 in Dn .
Proof. Let r be a rotation of the plate through 2
n
about the axis of symmetry perpendicular
to the plate, and s rotation through about an axis of symmetry which lies in the plane
of the plate. Then, by the definition, Dn := {ri sj : 0 i n 1, 0 j 1}. By using the
formula on page 18, we have that for 0 i n 1,

(ri s)(ri s) = e,

and
(ri )(ri ) = r2i = e if and only if n divides 2i.
If n is an odd number, then n does not devide 2i for all 0 i n 1, so the only
elements of order 2 in Dn are s, rs, r2 s, . . . , rn1 s. If n is an even number, then the only
number in {2i : 0 i n 1} that is divisible by n is n, so all elements of order 2 are
n
s, rs, r2 s, . . . , rn1 s, and r 2 .

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Exercise 4.3. Check that the integers 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14 form a group under multiplica-
tion modulo 15. Work out its multiplication table and find the order of each element.

Solution.

1 2 4 7 8 11 13 14
1 1 2 4 7 8 11 13 14
2 2 4 8 14 1 7 11 13
4 4 8 1 13 2 14 7 11
7 7 14 13 4 11 2 1 8
8 8 1 2 11 4 13 14 7
11 11 7 14 2 13 1 8 4
13 13 11 7 1 14 8 4 2
14 14 13 11 8 7 4 2 1
We prove that S := {1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14} is a group by using the multiplication table. Ac-
cording to the multiplication table, we can see that S is closed under 15 . The associativity
is true by Exercise 3.5. It is easy to see from the multiplication table that 1 is the identity.
Lastly, according to the multiplication table, there exists 1 in each row and each column, so
each element in S has its inverse. Hence, (S, 15 ) is a group.

Compute

11 = 1,
21 = 2, 22 = 4, 23 = 8, 24 = 1,
41 = 4, 42 = 1,
71 = 7, 72 = 4, 73 = 13, 74 = 1,
81 = 8, 82 = 4, 83 = 2, 84 = 1,
111 = 11, 112 = 1,
131 = 13, 132 = 4, 133 = 7, 134 = 1,
141 = 14, 142 = 1.

Hence, the element of order 1 is 1, the elements of order 2 are 4, 11, 14, and the elements of
order 4 are 2, 7, 8, 13.

Exercise 4.4. Let g be an element of a group G. Keep g fixed and let x vary through G.
Prove that the products gx are all distinct and fill out G. Do the same for the products xg.

## Proof. Let y G. Choose x1 := g 1 y and x2 := yg 1 in G. Then, gx1 = g(g 1 y) = y and

x2 g = (yg 1 )g = y. Now, let x01 , x02 G be such that gx01 = y = x02 g. Thus, x01 = g 1 (gx01 ) =
g 1 y = x1 and x02 = (x2 g)g 1 = yg 1 = x2 . Hence, we are done.

Exercise 4.10. General associative law. Let G be a group and assume inductively that
products x1 x2 . . . xk of elements of G always make sense without any brackets provided
1 k n 1. We must verify that an arbitrary product x1 x2 . . . xn of length n is well

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defined regardless of the way in which we bracket its terms. Suppose we combine these
elements in two different ways, and that the final multiplications in the two procedures are

## (x1 x2 . . . xr )(xr+1 . . . xn ), (1)

(x1 x2 . . . xs )(xs+1 . . . xn ), (2)

where 1 r < s n1. These terms inside brackets make sense by our inductive hypothesis.
Write (1) as
(x1 x2 . . . xr ) [(xr+1 . . . xs )(xs+1 . . . xn )] ,
express (2) in a similar fashion, and use the ordinary associative law for three elements to
finish the argument.

Proof. We continue the proof given in the problem. By the induction hypothesis, we can
write (1) as
(x1 x2 . . . xr ) [(xr+1 . . . xs )(xs+1 . . . xn )] ,
express (2) as
[(x1 x2 . . . xr )(xr+1 . . . xs )] (xs+1 . . . xn ).
By the ordinary associative law for three elements, we have that

## Hence, by mathematical induction, we have the general associative law.

Exercise 5.2. If m and n are positive integers, and if m is a factor of n, show that Zn
contains a subgroup of order m. Does Zn contain more than one subgroup of order m?

Proof. If m = 1, then the trivial subgroup is a subgroup of order 1. Now, assume that m > 1.
n
By the assumption, there exists k N such that n = mk. Note that k = m < n, so k Zn .
Since k +n k +n +n k = mk(mod n) = 0 and k +n k +n +n k = ik(mod n) = ik 6= 0
| {z } | {z }
m times i times
for all i N such that 0 < i < m, we have that the order of k in Zn is m. Hence, hki is a
subgroup of order m in Zn .
Zn contains only one subgroup of order m.
Proof. Let G1 , G2 be subgroups of order m contained in Zn . Since Zn is cyclic, G1 and G2
are cyclic, so there exist g1 G1 and g2 G2 such that G1 = hg1 i and G2 = hg2 i. Let
G := hg1 , g2 i. Since G is a subgroup of Zn , G is also cyclic, so there exists g G such that
G = hgi. Since g hgi = hg1 , g2 i, there exist k1 , k2 Z such that g = k1 g1 +n k2 g2 . Then,
mg = k1 (mg1 ) +n k2 (mg2 ) = 0 +n 0 = 0. Therefore, G = hgi has order less than or equal
to m. Since G1 G, |G1 | |G|, so m = |G1 | |G| m. Therefore, G1 = G. Similarly,
G2 = G. Hence, G1 = G = G2 .

Exercise 5.3. With the notation of Section 4, check that rs and r2 s together generate Dn .

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Proof. Note that (r2 s)(rs) = r by the formula on page 18. Then, r hrs, r2 si, so s =
r1 (rs) hrs, r2 si. Hence, Dn = hr, si hrs, r2 si, so rs and r2 s together generate Dn .

## Exercise 5.4. Find the subgroup of Dn generated by r2 and r2 s, distinguishing carefully

between the cases n odd and n even.

## If n is odd, then hr2 , r2 si = Dn . If n is even, then hr2 , r2 si = r2i sj : 0 i < n2 , 0 j 1 .



Proof. We claim that hr2 , r2 si = hr2 , si. It is obvious that hr2 , r2 si hr2 , si. Since
s = (r2 )1 (r2 s) hr2 , r2 si, we have the claim. Now, we can consider hr2 , si instead.

## Case n is odd: Then, n = 2m 1 for some m N. Since 2m 1(modn), r = (r2 )m

hr2 , si. Hence, Dn = hr, si hr2 , si.

Case n is even: It is clear that r2i sj : 0 i < n2 , 0 j 1 hr2 , si. To show the
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converse, let (r2 )i1 sj1 (r2 )i2 sj2 . . . (r2 )it sjt hr2 , si for some t N and i1 , . . . , it , j1 , . . . , jt Z.
Since sr = r1 s and sr1 = rs, (r2 )i1 sj1 (r2 )i2 sj2 . . . (r2 )it sjt = (r2 )k sl for some k Z and
l {0, 1}. Use the division algorithm to get integers Q and R such that k = n2 Q + R and
n
0R< 2
. Then, (r2 )k = rnQ+2R = r2R . Hence, (r2 )i1 sj1 (r2 )i2 sj2 . . . (r2 )it sjt = (r2 )k sl =
r2R sl r2i sj : 0 i < n2 , 0 j 1 and we are done.
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