A finite field is a field with a finite number of elements. For each prime power $q^k$, there is a unique (up to isomorphism) finite field with $q^k$ elements. Up to isomorphism, these are the only finite fields.

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How to recognise that the polynomial method might work

A couple of days ago I was at a nice seminar given by Christian Reiher, during which he told us about a short proof of the following special case of a theorem of Olson. Theorem. Let ...
37
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14answers
5k views

Fantastic properties of Z/2Z

Recently I gave a lecture to master's students about some nice properties of the group with two elements $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. Typically, I wanted to present simple, natural situations where the ...
36
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2answers
1k views

A curious identity related to finite fields

To three elements $a_1$, $a_2$, $a_3$ in the finite field $\mathbb F_q$ of $q$ elements we associate the number $N(a_1,a_2,a_3)$ of elements $a_0\in \mathbb F_q$ such that the polynomial ...
28
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9answers
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How many groups of size at most n are there? What is the asymptotic growth rate? And what of rings, fields, graphs, partial orders, etc.?

Question. How many (isomorphism types of) finite groups of size at most n are there? What is the asymptotic growth rate? And the same question for rings, fields, graphs, partial orders, etc. ...
28
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1answer
1k views

Algebraic dependency over $\mathbb{F}_{2}$

Let $f_{1},f_{2},\ldots,f_{n}$ be $n$ polynomials in $\mathbb{F}_{2}[x_{1},x_{2},\ldots,x_{n}]$ such that $\forall a=(a_1,a_2,\ldots,a_n)\in\mathbb{F}_{2}^{n}$ we have $\forall ...
24
votes
1answer
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How does Tate verify his own conjecture for the Fermat hypersurface?

This question is about Tate's 1963 paper "Algebraic Cycles and Poles of Zeta Functions". Here he announces a conjecture (now known as "the Tate conjecture") which states that certain classes in the ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the etale fundamental group of the projective line minus a finite number of points over a finite field depend on the points?

Clearly the etale fundamental group of $\mathbb{P}^1_{\mathbb{C}} \setminus \{a_1,...,a_r\}$ doesn't depend on the $a_i$'s, because it is the profinite completion of the topological fundamental group. ...
21
votes
3answers
639 views

A hypersurface with many points

Ok, it's time for me to ask my first question on MO. Consider the affine curve $Y+Y^q=X^{q+1}$ over the finite field $\mathbf{F}_q$. It's interesting because it has the largest number of points over ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Non-split extensions of $GL_n(F_q)$ by $F_q^n$ ?

A very naive question : I just learned that there is a non-split extension of $GL_3(F_2)$ by $F_2^3$ (with standard action). It can be realized as the subgroup of the automorphism group $G_2$ of ...
19
votes
2answers
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Sums of powers mod p

For prime $p > 7$ with $p-1=rs$, $r>1$, $s>1$, let $A=\{x^r|x \in \mathbb{Z}_p\}$ and $B = \{x^s|x \in \mathbb{Z}_p\}$. If $g$ is a primitive root mod $p$ then $A = \{0\} \cup \{g^{ir}|0 \leq ...
18
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1answer
540 views

Is hyperelliptic cryptography “practical”?

Previosly my impression on this subject was that hyperelliptic cryptography systems (as well as other possible cryptosystems based on abelian varieties of dimension $>1$) have no advantages over ...
17
votes
4answers
941 views

A mixing property for finite fields of characteristic $2$

In connection with this MO post, here is a question somewhat implicitly contained in a joint paper of S. Kopparty, S. Saraf, M. Sudan, and myself. Let ${\mathbb F}$ be a finite field, and suppose ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Classification of rings satisfying $a^4=a$

We have the famous classification of rings satisfying $a^2=a$ (for each element $a$) in terms of Stone spaces, via $X \mapsto C(X,\mathbb{F}_2)$. Similarly, rings satisfying $a^3=a$ are classified by ...
16
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4answers
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Exhibit an explicit bijection between irreducible polynomials over finite fields and Lyndon words.

Let $q$ be a power of a prime. It's well-known that the function $B(n, q) = \frac{1}{n} \sum_{d | n} \mu \left( \frac{n}{d} \right) q^d$ counts both the number of irreducible polynomials of degree ...
16
votes
1answer
259 views

Do mutually dual finite vector spaces have the same orbit cardinalities under a linear group action?

Let $G$ be a finite group acting linearly on a finite dimensional vector space $V$ over a finite field. By Burnside's lemma, $$ |V/G| = \frac 1{|G|} \sum_{g\in G} q^{\dim(ker(g - I))}. $$ Since $g-I$ ...
15
votes
2answers
866 views

Does $\mathbb{K}[G]\simeq\mathbb{K}[H]$ for some field $\mathbb{K}$ of characteristic $p$, imply $\mathbb{F}_p[G]\simeq\mathbb{F}_p[H]$?

Due to the first (and very helpful) answer I received, I've reformulated the question a little: $G$ and $H$ are now assumed to be $p$-groups. Let $p$ be a prime, and let $\mathbb{F}_p$ be the field ...
13
votes
1answer
953 views

maximal order of elements in GL(n,p)

I am looking for a formula for the maximal order of an element in the group $\operatorname{GL}\left(n,p\right)$, where $ p$ is prime. I recall seeing such a formula in a paper from the mid- or early ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

A question on representation of graphs

Take a complete graph $K_n$. You want to assign a vectors from $\Bbb F_2^d$ to every edge such that sum of vectors in every simple cycle does not sum to $0$ vector. The question is what is minimum $d$ ...
13
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3answers
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Periodic orbits and polynomials

There are two simple and classic enumerations that still I'm puzzled about. Let's start with a simple counting problem from a well-known dynamical system. fact 1 Consider the "tent map" ...
13
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0answers
309 views

Grothendieck on polyhedra over finite fields

In Grothendieck's Sketch of a Programme he spends a few pages discussing polyhedra over arbitrary rings and concludes with some intriguing remarks on specializing polyhedra over their "most singular ...
13
votes
0answers
504 views

Noether-Deuring for injections and surjections?

Noether-Deuring theorem (not in the strongest form, but in the one I usually need): Let $L\diagup K$ be a field extension. Let $A$ be a $K$-algebra which is finite-dimensional as a vector space over ...
12
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5answers
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Is $x^p-x+1$ always irreducible in $F_p[x]$?

It seems that for any prime number $p$ and for any non-zero element $a$ in the finite field $\mathbb F_p$, the polynomial $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible over $\mathbb F_p$. (It is of course obvious that ...
12
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3answers
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Truncated Exponential Series Modulo $p$: Deeper meaning for a Putnam Question.

Apparently B6 of the Putnam this year asked: Suppose $p$ is an odd prime. Prove that for $n\in \{0,1,2...p-1\}$, at least $\frac{p+1}{2}$ of the numbers $\sum^{p-1}_{k=0} k! n^{k}$ are not ...
12
votes
3answers
899 views

Probability of coprime polynomials

Given positive integer $N$, we choose $m_1, m_2, n_1, n_2$ independently and with equal probabilities from $\{0,1,\ldots,N\}$, and let $f_1 = x^{m_1} + (1+x)^{n_1}$ and $f_2 = x^{m_2} + (1+x)^{n_2}$ ...
12
votes
1answer
730 views

A family of hypersurfaces with many points

This question is a sequel to an earlier question, which asked about the zeta function of a certain affine variety over a finite field $k$. The unusual thing about this variety is that it had the ...
12
votes
0answers
275 views

Counting abelian varieties over finite fields in a given isogeny class

Let $f(x) \in \mathbb Z[x]$ be a monic polynomial of degree $g$ with all roots having absolute value $\sqrt{q}$. How many principally polarized abelian varieties over $\mathbb F_q$ have $f(x)$ as the ...
11
votes
2answers
561 views

An expander (?) graph

For a prime $p$, consider the graph on the vertex set ${\mathbb F}_p$, in which every vertex $z$ is adjacent to $z\pm 1$ and also to $z^{-1}$ (unless $z=0$). I was told that this graph is known to be ...
11
votes
2answers
801 views

Multiplicative order of zeros of the Artin-Schreier Polynomial

This question was asked on NMBRTHRY by Kurt Foster: If $p$ is a prime number and $\mathbb{F}_p$ the field of $p$ elements, the zeroes of the Artin-Schreier polynomial $x^p - x - 1 \in ...
11
votes
2answers
366 views

Is there a proof of Warning's Second Theorem using p-adic cohomology?

Let $\mathbb{F}_q$ be a finite field, $n \in \mathbb{Z}^+$, and $f_1,\ldots,f_r \in \mathbb{F}_q[t_1,\ldots,t_n]$ with $\operatorname{deg}(f_i) = d_i$. Put $d = \sum_{i=1}^n d_i$ and suppose $d< ...
11
votes
4answers
550 views

Behaviour of Zeta-function under Finite Morphism

Let X ---> Y be a finite surjective morphism of smooth, projective, connected varieties over a finite field F_q. Can one describe the zeta function Z(X, t) in terms of the zeta-function Z(Y,t) of ...
10
votes
3answers
421 views

Local-globalism for similar matrices?

My background on number theory is very weak, so please bear with me... Given two matrices $A$ and $B$ in $\mathbb{Z}^{n\times n}$. Assume that for every prime $p$, the images of $A$ and $B$ in ...
10
votes
2answers
595 views

Seeking conceptual explanation of these nice bijections on roots of unity

I proved the following facts by unenlightening calculations. Since the statements are quite clean, I think there should be a conceptual explanation for them, which my proof certainly is not. Let $q$ ...
10
votes
3answers
995 views

Can we always find such an irreducible polynomial of degree n where degree(p(x)-x^n)<= n/2?

Consider unitary polynomials of degree $n$ over $GF(2)$. That is, polynomials of the form $p(x) = \sum_{i=0}^n a_i x^i$ where $a_i\in GF(2)$ and $a_n=1$. Can we always find such an irreducible ...
10
votes
2answers
842 views

A comprehensive overview of finite fields

I've read numerous introductions to finite fields, but I feel like my intuition about them is fairly lacking. Considering that finite fields are the the most "inert" objects in algebraic geometry, I ...
10
votes
2answers
318 views

Blocking sets in three dimensional finite affine spaces

What is the smallest possible size of a set of points in $\mathbb{F}_q^3$ which intersects (blocks) every line? Clearly the union of three affine hyperplanes that intersect in a singleton, say $x = ...
10
votes
1answer
250 views

Counting isomorphism classes in open subsets of Bun_G

Let $G$ be a split semisimple algebraic group and let $C$ be a curve of genus $g$ over $\mathbb F_q$. Assume $g \geq 2$. The number of $\mathbb F_q$-points of $\# \operatorname{Bun}_G(C)$, where each ...
10
votes
0answers
268 views

Noether-Lefschetz over finite fields

The classical Noether-Lefschetz theorem asserts the following: Over the complex numbers, a very general surface $S\subset \mathbb{P}^3$ has Picard number 1 (that is, $Pic(S)\simeq \mathbb Z$), ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Proofs in the same vein as Ax-Grothendieck

I would like to see other examples of (ideas of) proofs and results in the same vein as the proof of the Ax-Grothendieck theorem. To explain what I mean by "in the same vein", I will quote from the ...
9
votes
1answer
251 views

Are $E_n$-operads not formal in characteristic not equal to zero?

This is a short question: Is it just unproven folklore (yet), or is it definitively known that $E_n$-operads are not formal, if the characteristic of the underlying field is not equal to zero?
9
votes
1answer
947 views

All polynomials over a finite field are sums of $2$ square-free polynomials

I quote Proposition 2.3, page 14 lines -3 and -4 of Michael Rosen's book Number Theory in Function Fields: Let $b_n$ be the number of square-free monics in $A= \mathbb{F}_q[t]$ of degree $n.$ Then ...
9
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4answers
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Books on advanced galois theory

I have been studying galois theory on my own and find it very fascinating. I have gone through Ian Stewarts book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Galois-Theory-Third-Chapman-Mathematics/dp/1584883936. I am ...
9
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1answer
371 views

Motives over finite field not generated by hyperelliptic curves

So the question is that, over a finite field, does there exist an abelian variety $A$ for which there does not exist a generically one-to-one morphism from a hyperelliptic curve $C$ to $A$. p.s. A ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

The “interplay” between additive and multiplicative structure in a field

A field is an ordered triple $(F, +,\cdot)$ of a set $F$ and binary operations $+,\times$ on $F$ such that $(F,+)$ and $(F\backslash 0,\times)$ are abelian groups satisfying the distributive laws ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Quadratic reciprocity and Weil reciprocity theorem

I was told that Weil reciprocity theorem (one has two meromorphic function $f,g$ on a complex curve $C$, so $\prod\limits_{x\in C} g(x)^{ord_xf}=\prod\limits_{x\in C}f(x)^{ord_xg} \ $ where $ord_xf$ ...
8
votes
4answers
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computer algebra system for polynomial algebras over finite fields

Is there a computer algebra system that can do arithmetic over polynomial algebras over finite fields where I can specify the extension? Exempli gratia, if $f(x), g(x) \in ...
8
votes
2answers
413 views

A mixing property of linear map over finite fields

Let $F$ be a finite field of odd size $q$, and $\phi_0 : F \mapsto F$ be any map from $F$ to itself. For each $a \in F$, set $\phi_a : x \in F \mapsto \phi_0 (x) + ax $. When $\phi_0 : x \mapsto x^2 ...
8
votes
1answer
598 views

Restriction theorems over finite fields

A short while ago, Dvir proved the Kakeya conjecture over finite fields. Does this have any implications for restriction theorems over finite fields? I am aware only of implications going in the ...
8
votes
1answer
533 views

Number of irreducible polynomials with some coefficients fixed over a finite field

I am interested in the following problem: I have a finite field $F_q$, two positive integers $n>m$ and elements $a_1,...,a_m\in F_q$. How many of the polynomials ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Order of finite unitary group

This may be an easy exercise but I am not getting it. Let $\mathbf F_q$ be a finite field with $q$ elements and $\mathbf F_{q^2}$ be its degree two extension. Define an automorphism $\sigma$ of ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

A Balog-Szemeredi-Gowers-type question

A nice Lemma due to Konyagin asserts that for any subset $B \subset \mathbb{F}_p$ holds $$ |B.B - B.B + B.B - B.B + B.B - B.B| \geq \frac{1}{2}\min\{p, |B|^2 \}, $$ where the standard notation for the ...