# Chapter 7: Products and quotients

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1 Chapter 7: Products and quotients Matthew Macauley Department of Mathematical Sciences Clemson University Math 42, Spring 24 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 / 4

2 Overview In the previous chapter, we looked inside groups for smaller groups lurking inside. Exploring the subgroups of a group gives us insight into the group s internal structure. There are two main topics that we will discuss in this chapter.. direct products: a method for making larger groups from smaller groups. 2. quotients: a method for making smaller groups from larger groups. Before we begin, we ll note that we can always form a direct product of two groups. In constrast, we cannot always take the quotient of two groups. In fact, quotients are restricted to some pretty specific circumstances, as we shall see. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 2 / 4

3 Direct products, algebraically It is easiest to think of direct product of groups algebraically, rather than visually. If A and B are groups, there is a natural group structure on the set Definition A B = {(a, b) a A, b B}. The direct product of groups A and B consists of the set A B, and the group operation is done component-wise: if (a, b), (c, d) A B, then (a, b) (c, d) = (ac, bd). We call A and B the factors of the direct product. Note that the binary operations on A and B could be different. One might be and the other +. For example, in D 3 Z 4: These elements do not commute: (r 2, ) (fr, 3) = (r 2 fr, + 3) = (rf, ). (fr, 3) (r 2, ) = (fr 3, 3 + ) = (f, ). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 3 / 4

4 Direct products, visually Here s one way to think of the direct product of two cyclic groups, say Z n Z m: Imagine a slot machine with two wheels, one with n spaces (numbered through n ) and the other with m spaces (numbered through m ). The actions are: spin one or both of the wheels. Each action can be labeled by where we end up on each wheel, say (i, j). Here is an example for a more general case: the element (r 2, 4) in D 4 Z 6. e f 5 r 3 r 3 f rf r r 2 f 4 2 r 2 3 Key idea The direct product of two groups joins them so they act independently of each other. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 4 / 4

5 Cayley diagrams of direct products Remark Just because a group is not written with doesn t mean that there isn t some hidden direct product structure lurking. For example, V 4 is really just C 2 C 2. Here are some examples of direct products: C 3 C 3 C 3 C 2 C 2 C 2 C 2 Even more surprising, the group C 3 C 2 is actually isomorphic to the cyclic group C 6! Indeed, the Cayley diagram for C 6 using generators r 2 and r 3 is the same as the Cayley diagram for C 3 C 2 above. We ll understand this better in Chapter 8 when we study homomorphisms. For now, we will focus our attention on direct products. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 5 / 4

6 Cayley diagrams of direct products Let e A be the identity of A and e B the identity of B. Given a Cayley diagram of A with generators a,..., a k, and a Cayley diagram of B with generators b,..., b l, we can create a Cayley diagram for A B as follows: Vertex set: {(a, b) a A, b B}. Generators: (a, e b ),..., (a k, e b ) and (e a, b ),..., (e k, b l ). Frequently it is helpful to arrange the vertices in a rectangular grid. (, ) (, ) (2, ) (3, ) For example, here is a Cayley diagram for the group Z 4 Z 3: (, ) (, ) (2, ) (3, ) (, 2) (, 2) (2, 2) (3, 2) What are the subgroups of Z 4 Z 3? There are six (did you find them all?), they are: Z 4 Z 3, {} {}, {} Z 3, Z 4 {}, Z 2 Z 3, Z 2 {}. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 6 / 4

7 Subgroups of direct products Remark If H A, and K B, then H K is a subgroup of A B. For Z 4 Z 3, all subgroups had this form. However, this is not always true. For example, consider the group Z 2 Z 2, which is really just V 4. Since Z 2 has two subgroups, the following four sets are subgroups of Z 2 Z 2: Z 2 Z 2, {} {}, Z 2 {} = (, ), {} Z 2 = (, ). However, one subgroup of Z 2 Z 2 is missing from this list: (, ) = {(, ), (, )}. Exercise What are the subgroups of Z 2 Z 2 Z 2? Here is a Cayley diagram, writing the elements of the product as abc rather than (a, b, c). Did you find all 6 subgroups? M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 7 / 4

8 Direct products, visually It s not needed, but one can construct the Cayley diagram of a direct product using the following inflation method. Inflation algorithm To make a Cayley diagram of A B from the Cayley diagrams of A and B:. Begin with the Cayley diagram for A. 2. Inflate each node, and place in it a copy of the Cayley diagram for B. (Use different colors for the two Cayley diagrams.) 3. Remove the (inflated) nodes of A while using the arrows of A to connect corresponding nodes from each copy of B. That is, remove the A diagram but treat its arrows as a blueprint for how to connect corresponding nodes in the copies of B. Cyclic group Z 2 each node contains a copy of Z 4 direct product group Z 4 Z 2 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 8 / 4

9 Properties of direct products Recall the following definition from the end of the previous chapter. Definition A subgroup H < G is normal if xh = Hx for all x G. We denote this by H G. Assuming A and B are not trivial, the direct product A B has at least four normal subgroups: {e A } {e B }, A {e B }, {e A } B, A B. Sometimes we abuse notation and write A A B and B A B for the middle two. (Technically, A and B are not even subsets of A B.) Here s another observation: A-arrows are independent of B-arrows. Observation In a Cayley diagram for A B, following A-arrows neither impacts or is impacted by the location in group B. Algebraically, this is just saying that (a, e b ) (e a, b) = (a, b) = (e a, b) (a, e b ). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 9 / 4

10 Multiplication tables of direct products Direct products can also be visualized using multiplication tables. However, the general process should be clear after seeing the following example; constructing the table for the group Z 4 Z 2: (,)(,)(,)(,)(2,)(2,)(3,)(3,) (,)(,)(,)(,)(2,)(2,)(3,)(3,) (,)(,)(2,)(2,)(3,)(3,)(,)(,) (,)(,)(2,)(2,)(3,)(3,)(,)(,) (2,)(2,)(3,)(3,)(,)(,)(,)(,) (2,)(2,)(3,)(3,)(,)(,)(,)(,) 3 2 (3,)(3,)(,)(,)(,)(,)(2,)(2,) (3,)(3,)(,)(,)(,)(,)(2,)(2,) multiplication table for the group Z 4 inflate each cell to contain a copy of the multiplication table of Z 2 join the little tables and element names to form the direct product table for Z 4 Z 2 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 / 4

11 Quotients Direct products make larger groups from smaller groups. It is a way to multiply groups. The opposite procedure is called taking a quotient. It is a way to divide groups. As we did with direct products, we will first describe the quotient operation using Cayley diagrams, and then explore some properties of the resulting group. Definition To divide a group G by one of its subgroups H, follow these steps:. Organize a Cayley diagram of G by H (so that we can see the subgroup H in the diagram for G). 2. Collapse each left coset of H into one large node. Unite those arrows that now have the same start and end nodes. This forms a new diagram with fewer nodes and arrows. 3. IF (and only if) the resulting diagram is a Cayley diagram of a group, you have obtained the quotient group of G by H, denoted G/H (say: G mod H.) If not, then G cannot be divided by H. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 / 4

12 An example: Z 3 < Z 6 Consider the group G = Z 6 and its normal subgroup H = 2 = {, 2, 4}. There are two (left) cosets: H = {, 2, 4} and + H = {, 3, 5}. The following diagram shows how to take a quotient of Z 6 by H H H Z 6 organized by the subgroup H = 2 Left cosets of H are near each other Collapse cosets into single nodes In this example, the resulting diagram is a Cayley diagram. So, we can divide Z 6 by 2, and we see that Z 6/H is isomorphic to Z 2. We write this as Z 6/H = Z 2. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 2 / 4

13 A few remarks Caveat! Step 3 of the Definition says IF the new diagram is a Cayley diagram... Sometimes it won t be, in which case there is no quotient. The elements of G/H are the cosets of H. Asking if G/H exists amounts to asking if the set of left (or right) cosets of H forms a group. (More on this later.) In light of this, given any subgroup H < G (normal or not), we will let denote the set of left cosets of H in G. G/H := {gh g G} Not surprisingly, if G = A B and we divide G by A (technically A {e}), the quotient group is B. (We ll see why shortly). The converse of the previous statement is generally not true. That is, if G/H is a group, then G is in general not a direct product of H and G/H. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 3 / 4

14 An example: C 3 < D 3 Consider the group G = D 3 and its normal subgroup H = r = C 3. There are two (left) cosets: H = {e, r, r 2 } and fh = {f, rf, r 2 f }. The following diagram shows how to take a quotient of D 3 by H. e r r 2 e r r 2 H f r 2 f rf f r 2 f rf fh D 3 organized by the subgroup H = r Left cosets of H are near each other Collapse cosets into single nodes The result is a Cayley diagram for C 2, thus D 3/H = C 2. However... C 3 C 2 = D3. Note that C 3 C 2 is abelian, but D 3 is not. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 4 / 4

15 Example: G = A 4 and H = x, z = V 4 Consider the following Cayley diagram for G = A 4 using generators a, x. e x c d a b d 2 b 2 a 2 c 2 z y Consider H = x, z = {e, x, y, z} = V 4. This subgroup is not visually obvious in this Cayley diagram. Let s add z to the generating set, and consider the resulting Cayley diagram. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 5 / 4

16 Example: G = A 4 and H = x, z = V 4 Here is a Cayley diagram for A 4 (with generators x, z, and a), organized by the subgroup H = x, z which allows us to see the left cosets of H clearly. e z x y e z x y H a 2 c 2 b 2 d 2 a d c b a 2 c 2 b 2 d 2 a d c b a 2 H ah A 4 organized by the subgroup H = x, z Left cosets of H are near each other Collapse cosets into single nodes The resulting diagram is a Cayley diagram! Therefore, A 4/H = C 3. However, A 4 is not isomorphic to the (abelian) group V 4 C 3. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 6 / 4

17 Example: G = A 4 and H = a = C 3 Let s see an example where we cannot divide G by a particular subgroup H. e x c d Consider the subgroup H = a = C 3 of A 4. Do you see what will go wrong if we try to divide A 4 by H = a? a b d 2 b 2 a 2 c 2 z y A 4 organized by the subgroup H = a Left cosets of H are near each other Collapse cosets into single nodes This resulting diagram is not a Cayley diagram! There are multiple outgoing blue arrows from each node. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 7 / 4

18 When can we divide G by a subgroup H? Consider H = a A 4 again. The left cosets are easy to spot. Remark The right cosets are not the same as the left cosets! The blue arrows out of any single coset scatter the nodes. Thus, H = a is not normal in A 4. If we took the effort to check our first 3 examples, we would find that in each case, the left cosets and right cosets coincide. In those examples, G/H existed, and H was normal in G. However, these 4 examples do not constitute a proof; they only provide evidence that the claim is true. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 8 / 4

19 When can we divide G by a subgroup H? Let s try to gain more insight. Consider a group G with subgroup H. Recall that: each left coset gh is the set of nodes that the H-arrows can reach from g (which looks like a copy of H at g); each right coset Hg is the set of nodes that the g-arrows can reach from H. The following figure depicts the potential ambiguity that may arise when cosets are collapsed in the sense of our quotient definition. g 2 H g H g 3 H blue arrows go from g H to multiple left cosets collapse cosets g 2 H g H g 3 H ambiguous blue arrows g H g 2 H collapse cosets blue arrows go from g H to a unique left coset g H g 2 H unambiguous blue arrows The action of the blue arrows above illustrates multiplication of a left coset on the right by some element. That is, the picture shows how left and right cosets interact. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 9 / 4

20 When can we divide G by a subgroup H? When H is normal, gh = Hg for all g G. In this case, to whichever coset one g arrow leads from H (the left coset), all g arrows lead unanimously and unambiguously (because it is also a right coset Hg). Thus, in this case, collapsing the cosets is a well-defined operation. Finally, we have an answer to our original question of when we can take a quotient. Quotient theorem If H < G, then the quotient group G/H can be constructed if and only if H G. To summarize our visual argument : The quotient process succeeds iff the resulting diagram is a valid Cayley diagram. Nearly all aspects of valid Cayley diagrams are guaranteed by the quotient process: Every node has exactly one incoming and outgoing edge of each color, because H G. The diagram is regular too. Though it s convincing, this argument isn t quite a formal proof; we ll do a rigorous algebraic proof next. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 2 / 4

21 Quotient groups, algebraically To prove the Quotient Theorem, we need to describe the quotient process algebraically. Recall that even if H is not normal in G, we will still denote the set of left cosets of H in G by G/H. Quotient theorem (restated) When H G, the set of cosets G/H forms a group. This means there is a well-defined binary operation on the set of cosets. But how do we multipy two cosets? If ah and bh are left cosets, define ah bh := abh. Clearly, G/H is closed under this operation. But we also need to verify that this definition is well-defined. By this, we mean that it does not depend on our choice of coset representative. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 2 / 4

22 Quotient groups, algebraically Lemma Let H G. Multiplication of cosets is well-defined: if a H = a 2H and b H = b 2H, then a H b H = a 2H b 2H. Proof Suppose that H G, a H = a 2H and b H = b 2H. Then a H b H = a b H (by definition) = a (b 2H) (b H = b 2H by assumption) = (a H)b 2 (b 2H = Hb 2 since H G) = (a 2H)b 2 (a H = a 2H by assumption) = a 2b 2H (b 2H = Hb 2 since H G) = a 2H b 2H (by definition) Thus, the binary operation on G/H is well-defined. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

23 Quotient groups, algebraically Quotient theorem (restated) When H G, the set of cosets G/H forms a group. Proof. There is a well-defined binary operation on the set of left (equivalently, right) cosets: ah bh = abh. We need to verify the three remaining properties of a group: Identity. The coset H = eh is the identity because for any coset ah G/H, ah H = aeh = ah = eah = H ah. Inverses. Given a coset ah, its inverse is a H, because ah a H = eh = a H ah. Closure. This is immediate, because ah bh = abh is another coset in G/H. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

24 Properties of quotients Question If H and K are subgroups and H = K, then are G/H and G/K isomorphic? For example, here is a Cayley diagram for the group Z 4 Z 2: (, ) (, ) (2, ) (3, ) (, ) (, ) (2, ) (3, ) It is visually obvious that the quotient of Z 4 Z 2 by the subgroup (, ) = Z 2 is the group Z 4. The quotient of Z 4 Z 2 by the subgroup (2, ) = Z 2 is a bit harder to see. Algebraically, it consists of the cosets (2, ), (, ) + (2, ), (, ) + (2, ), (, ) + (2, ). It is now apparent that this group is isomorphic to V 4. Thus, the answer to the question above is no. Surprised? M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

25 Normalizers Question If H < G but H is not normal, can we measure how far H is from being normal? Recall that H G iff gh = Hg for all g G. So, one way to answer our question is to check how many g G satisfy this requirement. Imagine that each g G is voting as to whether H is normal: gh = Hg yea gh Hg nay At a minimum, every g H votes yea. (Why?) At a maximum, every g G could vote yea, but this only happens when H really is normal. There can be levels between these 2 extremes as well. Definition The set of elements in G that vote in favor of H s normality is called the normalizer of H in G, denoted N G (H). That is, N G (H) = {g G : gh = Hg} = {g G : ghg = H}. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

26 Normalizers Let s explore some possibilities for what the normalizer of a subgroup can be. In particular, is it a subgroup? Observation If g N G (H), then gh N G (H). Proof If gh = Hg, then gh = bh for all b gh. Therefore, bh = gh = Hg = Hb. The deciding factor in how a left coset votes is whether it is a right coset (members of gh vote as a block exactly when gh = Hg). Observation 2 N G (H) is a multiple of H. Proof By Observation, N G (H) is made up of whole (left) cosets of H, and all (left) cosets are the same size and disjoint. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

27 Normalizers Consider a subgroup H G of index n. Suppose that the left and right cosets partition G as shown below: H g H g 2 H... g nh H Hg. Hg n Hg 2 Partition of G by the left cosets of H Partition of G by the right cosets of H The cosets H, and g H = Hg, and g nh = Hg n all vote yea. The left coset g 2H votes nay because g 2H Hg 2. Assuming all other cosets vote nay, the normalizer of H is N G (H) = H g H g nh. In summary, the two extreme cases for N G (H) are: N G (H) = G: iff H is a normal subgroup N G (H) = H: H is as unnormal as possible M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

28 An example: A 4 We saw earlier that H = x, z A 4. Therefore, N A4 (H) = A 4. e x z y a 2 b 2 a c c 2 d 2 d b At the other extreme, consider a < A 4 again, which is as far from normal as it can possibly be: a A 4. No right coset of a coincides with a left coset, other than a itself. Thus, N A4 ( a ) = a. Observation 3 In the Cayley diagram of G, the normalizer of H consists of the copies of H that are connected to H by unanimous arrows. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

29 How to spot the normalizer in the Cayley diagram The following figure depicts the six left cosets of H = f = {e, f } in D 6. e f f r 5 f r 5 r 5 f f rf r r f e f r 4 r 4 f r 3 f r 2 f r 2 r 3 r 3 f r 4 f r 3 f r 3 r 2 f r 3 f Note that r 3 H is the only coset of H (besides H, obviously) that cannot be reached from H by more than one element of D 6. Thus, N D6 ( f ) = f r 3 f = {e, f, r 3, r 3 f } = V 4. Observe that the normalizer is also a subgroup satisfying: f N D6 ( f ) D 6. Do you see the pattern for N Dn ( f )? (It depends on whether n is even or odd.) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

30 Normalizers are subgroups! Theorem 7.7 For any H < G, we have N G (H) < G. Proof (different than VGT!) Recall that N G (H) = {g G ghg = H}; the set of elements that normalize H. We need to verify three properties of N G (H): (i) Contains the identity; (ii) Inverses exist; (iii) Closed under the binary operation. Identity. Naturally, ehe = {ehe h H} = H. Inverses. Suppose g N G (H), which means ghg = H. We need to show that g N G (H). That is, g H(g ) = g Hg = H. Indeed, g Hg = g (ghg )g = ehe = H. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 3 / 4

31 Normalizers are subgroups! Proof (cont.) Closure. Suppose g, g 2 N G (H), which means that g Hg = H and g 2Hg 2 = H. We need to show that g g 2 N G (H). (g g 2)H(g g 2) = g g 2Hg 2 g = g (g 2Hg 2 )g = g Hg = H. Since N G (H) contains the identity, every element has an inverse, and is closed under the binary operation, it is a (sub)group! Corollary Every subgroup is normal in its normalizer: H N G (H) G. Proof By definition, gh = Hg for all g N G (H). Therefore, H N G (H). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 3 / 4

32 Conjugacy classes Recall that for H G, the conjugate subgroup of H by a fixed g G is ghg = {ghg h H}. Additionally, H is normal iff ghg = H for all g G. We can also fix the element we are conjugating. Given x G, we may ask: which elements can be written as gxg for some g G? The set of all such elements in G is called the conjugacy class of x, denoted cl G (x). Formally, this is the set cl G (x) = {gxg g G}. Remarks In any group, cl G (e) = {e}, because geg = e for any g G. If x and g commute, then gxg = x. Thus, when computing cl G (x), we only need to check gxg for those g G that do not commute with x. Moreover, cl G (x) = {x} iff x commutes with everything in G. (Why?) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

33 Conjugacy classes Lemma Conjugacy is an equivalence relation. Proof Reflexive: x = exe. Symmetric: x = gyg y = g xg. Transitive: x = gyg and y = hzh x = (gh)z(gh). Since conjugacy is an equivalence relation, it partitions the group G into equivalence classes (conjugacy classes). Let s compute the conjugacy classes in D 4. We ll start by finding cl D4 (r). Note that we only need to compute grg for those g that do not commute with r: frf = r 3, (rf )r(rf ) = r 3, (r 2 f )r(r 2 f ) = r 3, (r 3 f )r(r 3 f ) = r 3. Therefore, the conjugacy class of r is cl D4 (r) = {r, r 3 }. Since conjugacy is an equivalence relation, cl D4 (r 3 ) = cl D4 (r) = {r, r 3 }. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

34 Conjugacy classes in D 4 To compute cl D4 (f ), we don t need to check e, r 2, f, or r 2 f, since these all commute with f : rfr = r 2 f, r 3 f (r 3 ) = r 2 f, (rf )f (rf ) = r 2 f, (r 3 f )f (r 3 f ) = r 2 f. Therefore, cl D4 (f ) = {f, r 2 f }. What is cl D4 (rf )? Note that it has size greater than because rf does not commute with everything in D 4. It also cannot contain elements from the other conjugacy classes. The only element left is r 3 f, so cl D4 (rf ) = {rf, r 3 f }. The Class Equation, visually: Partition of D 4 by its conjugacy classes e r 2 r r 3 f rf r 2 f r 3 f We can write D 4 = {e} {r 2 } {r, r 3 } {f, r 2 f } {r, r 3 f }. } {{ } these commute with everything in D 4 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

35 The class equation Definition The center of G is the set Z(G) = {z G gz = zg, g G}. Observation cl G (x) = {x} if and only if x Z(G). Proof Suppose x is in its own conjugacy class. This means that cl G (x) = {x} gxg = x, g G gx = xg, g G x Z(G). The Class Equation For any finite group G, G = Z(G) + cl G (x i ) where the sum is taken over distinct conjugacy classes of size greater than. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

36 More on conjugacy classes Proposition Every normal subgroup is the union of conjugacy classes. Proof Suppose n N G. Then gng gng = N, thus if n N, its entire conjugacy class cl G (n) is contained in N as well. Proposition Conjugate elements have the same order. Proof Consider x and y = gxg. If x n = e, then (gxg ) n = (gxg )(gxg ) (gxg ) = gx n g = geg = e. Therefore, x gxg. Conversely, if (gxg ) n = e, then gx n g = e, and it must follow that x n = e. Therefore, x gxg. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

37 Conjugacy classes in D 6 Let s determine the conjugacy classes of D 6 = r, f r 6 = e, f 2 = e, r i f = fr i. The center of D 6 is Z(D 6) = {e, r 3 }; these are the only elements in size- conjugacy classes. The only two elements of order 6 are r and r 5 ; so we must have cl D6 (r) = {r, r 5 }. The only two elements of order 3 are r 2 and r 4 ; so we must have cl D6 (r 2 ) = {r 2, r 4 }. Let s compute the conjugacy class of a reflection r i f. We need to consider two cases; conjugating by r j and by r j f : r j (r i f )r j = r j r i r j f = r i+2j f (r j f )(r i f )(r j f ) = (r j f )(r i f )f r j = r j fr i j = r j r j i f = r 2j i f. Thus, r i f and r k f are conjugate iff i and k are both even, or both odd. The Class Equation, visually: Partition of D 6 by its conjugacy classes e r 3 r r 5 r 2 r 4 f rf r 2 f r 3 f r 4 f r 5 f M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

38 Conjugacy preserves structure Think back to linear algebra. Two matrices A and B are similar (=conjugate) if A = PBP. Conjugate matrices have the same eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and determinant. In fact, they represent the same linear map, but under a change of basis. If n is even, then there are two types of reflections of an n-gon: the axis goes through two corners, or it bisects a pair of sides. Notice how in D n, conjugate reflections had the same type. Do you have a guess of what the conjugacy classes of reflections are in D n when n is odd? Also, conjugate rotations in D n had the same rotating angle, but in the opposite direction (e.g., r k and r n k ). Next, we will look at conjugacy classes in the symmetric group S n. We will see that conjugate permutations have the same structure. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

39 Cycle type and conjugacy Definition Two elements in S n have the same cycle type if when written as a product of disjoint cycles, there are the same number of length-k cycles for each k. We can write the cycle type of a permutation σ S n as a list c, c 2,..., c n, where c i is the number of cycles of length i in σ. Here is an example of some elements in S 9 and their cycle types. Theorem ( 8) (5) (2 3) ( ) has cycle type,2,,. ( ) has cycle type,,,,,,,,. e = ()(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9) has cycle type 9. Two elements g, h S n are conjugate if and only if they have the same cycle type. Big idea Conjugate permutations have the same structure. Such permutations are the same up to renumbering. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring / 4

40 An example Consider the following permutations in G = S 6: g = ( 2) h = (2 3) r = ( ) Since g and h have the same cycle type, they are conjugate: ( ) (2 3) ( ) = ( 2). Here is a visual interpretation of g = rhr : 6 2 g=(2) r 2 6 r h=(23) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products and quotients Math 42, Spring 24 4 / 4

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