Questions on group theory which concern finite groups.

**23**

votes

**1**answer

937 views

### Monstrous Moonshine for Thompson group $Th$?

I. As a background, in Traces of Singular Moduli (p.2), Zagier defines the modular form of weight 3/2,
$$g(\tau) = \frac{\eta^2(\tau)}{\eta(2\tau)}\frac{E_4(4\tau)}{\eta^6(4\tau)}=\vartheta_4(\tau)\, ...

**22**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Measures of non-abelian-ness

Let $G$ be a finite non-abelian group of $n$ elements.
I would like a measure that intuitively captures the
extent to which $G$ is non-commutative.
One easy measure is a count of the non-commutative ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Are there two groups which are categorically Morita equivalent but only one of which is simple

Can you find two finite groups G and H such that their representation categories are Morita equivalent (which is to say that there's an invertible bimodule category over these two monoidal categories) ...

**22**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Definition of “finite group of Lie type”?

The list of finite simple groups of Lie type has been understood for half a century, modulo some differences in notation (and identifications between some of the very small groups coming from ...

**22**

votes

**2**answers

444 views

### Uniform proof that a finite (irreducible real) reflection group is determined by its degrees?

Given a finite (irreducible real) group $G$ generated by reflections acting on euclidean $n$-space, it was shown by Chevalley in the 1950s that the algebra of invariants of $G$ in the associated ...

**22**

votes

**1**answer

797 views

### Richness of the subgroup structure of p-groups

Given a prime $p$ and $n \in \mathbb{N}$, let $f_p(n)$ be the smallest
number such that there is a group of order $p^{f_p(n)}$ which all groups of
order $p^n$ embed into. What is the asymptotic growth ...

**22**

votes

**0**answers

475 views

### Next steps on formal proof of classification of finite simple groups

While people are steaming ahead on finessing the proof of the classification of finite simple groups (CFSG), we have a formal proof in Coq of one of the first major components: the Feit-Thompson ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

790 views

### Nilpotency of a group by looking at orders of elements

For any finite group $G$, let
$$\theta(G) := \sum_{g \in G} \frac{o(g)}{\phi(o(g))},$$
where $o(g)$ denotes the order of the element $g$ in $G$, and where $\phi$ is the Euler totient function.
It is ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

966 views

### In an inductive family of groups, does the probability that a particular word is satisfied converge?

We have some group word $w$ in $k$ letters. We say a $k$-tuple of group elements $\vec{g} = (g_1, g_2, \ldots , g_k) \in G^k$ satisfies the word $w$ if $w$ gives the identity at $\vec{g}$. More ...

**21**

votes

**0**answers

272 views

### Guess that group via product queries

Suppose someone (person B) knows a finite group $G$ of order $n$.
You (person A) know only the order $n$,
and that $1$ is the name of the identity element.
The group elements are named $1,2,\ldots,n$ ...

**20**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### What is this subgroup of $\mathfrak S_{12}$?

On some occasion I was gifted a calendar. It displays a math quizz every day of the year. Not really exciting in general, but at least one of them let me raise a group-theoretic question.
The quizz: ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Number of finite simple groups of given order is at most 2 - is a classification-free proof possible?

This Wikipedia article states that the isomorphism type of a finite simple group is determined by its order, except that:
L4(2) and L3(4) both have order 20160
O2n+1(q) and S2n(q) have the same ...

**20**

votes

**11**answers

2k views

### Conjugacy classes in finite groups that remain conjugacy classes when restricted to proper subgroups

In a forthcoming paper with Venkatesh and Westerland, we require the following funny definition. Let G be a finite group and c a conjugacy class in G. We say the pair (G,c) is nonsplitting if, for ...

**20**

votes

**3**answers

799 views

### Statistics of irreps of S_n that can be read off the Young diagram, and consequences of Kerov-Vershik

Alexei Oblomkov recently told me about the beautiful theorem of Kerov and Vershik, which says that "almost all Young diagrams look the same." More precisely: take a random irreducible representation ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

963 views

### Monstrous moonshine for $M_{24}$ and K3?

An important piece of Monstrous moonshine is the j-function,
$$j(\tau) = \frac{1}{q}+744+196884q+21493760q^2+\dots\tag{1}$$
In the paper "Umbral Moonshine" (2013), page 5, authors Cheng, Duncan, and ...

**19**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Generating a finite group from elements in each conjugacy class

Is there a finite group such that, if you pick one element from each conjugacy class, these don't necessarily generate the entire group?

**19**

votes

**4**answers

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

**3**answers

1k views

### Can nonabelian groups be detected “locally”?

Suppose $m,n\geq 2$ are two integers. Is it true that for every sufficiently large nonabelian group $G$, one can find a set $A\subset G$, with $|A|=n$, so that $|A^m| >\binom{n+m-1}{m}$?
(Edit) ...

**19**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Groups of order $n$ with a character whose degree is at least $0.8\sqrt{n}$ (say)

[edited in response to some corrections by Geoff Robinson and F. Ladisch]
Throughout, all my groups are finite, and all my representations are over the complex numbers.
If $G$ is a group and $\chi$ ...

**19**

votes

**2**answers

663 views

### Generating random finite groups

I would like a method to efficiently generate a random finite group of a given order $n$.
If there are $g(n)$ non-isomorphic groups of order $n$,
ideally each group would occur with probability ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

706 views

### Geodesics in finite groups

It seems that I can generalize a result from compact, connected Lie groups to finite groups, but in order to do so, I need to have some kind of geodesics on finite groups.
Below is a proposition for ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

616 views

### Is there a Mathieu groupoid M_31?

I have read something which said that the large amount of common structure between the simple groups $SL(3,3)$ and $M_{11}$ indicated to Conway the possibility that the Mathieu groupoid $M_{13}$ might ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

445 views

### Density of first-order definable sets in a directed union of finite groups

This is a generalization of the following question by John Wiltshire-Gordon.
Consider an inductive family of finite groups:
$$
G_0 \hookrightarrow G_1 \hookrightarrow \ldots \hookrightarrow G_i ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Is a group uniquely determined by the sets $\{ab,ba\}$ for each pair of elements a and b?

This is a cross-posted question, originally active here on math.stackexchange.
For a given group $G=(S,\cdot)$ with underlying set $S$, consider the function
$$
F_G:S\times ...

**18**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Highly transitive groups (without assuming the classification of finite simple groups)

What is known about the classification of n-transitive group actions for n large without using the classification of finite simple groups? With the classification of finite simple groups a complete ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

701 views

### Reference for the triple covering of A_6

I would like to ask for a reference (book, paper ...) for the following nice construction, which I have found as an exercise in some notes of a course by R. Borcherds. For $n=6$ or $7$ (and only in ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

970 views

### Examples of finite groups with “good” bijection(s) between conjugacy classes and irreducible representations?

For symmetric group conjugacy classes and irreducible representation both are parametrized by Young diagramms, so there is a kind of "good" bijection between the two sets. For general finite groups ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

761 views

### Given a lattice L with n elements, are there finite groups H < G such that L $\cong$ the lattice of subgroups between H and G?

If there is no restriction on $n$, this is a famous open problem. I'm wondering if any recent work has been done for small $n>6$. I believe the question is answered (positively) for $n=6$ by ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

626 views

### “Squeezing” a finite group between symmetric groups

For a finite group $G$, take $m$ as the largest integer such that $G$ has a subgroup $H\cong S_m$ and $n$ as the smallest integer such that $G$ is itself isomorphic to a subgroup of $S_n$. We then ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

564 views

### divisors of $p^4+1$ of the form $kp+1$

In group theory the number of Sylow $p$-subgroups of a finite group $G$, is of the form $kp+1$.
So it is interesting to discuss about the divisors of this form. As I checked it seems that for an odd ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

563 views

### Is there a big solvable subgroup in every finite group?

Definition: Let $G$ be a group, and let $H \leq G$ be a subgroup. We say that $H$ is big in $G$ if for every intermediate subgroup $H \leq L \leq G$ there exists some $x \in L$ such that $\langle H ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Has any attempt been made to classify finite groupoids?

I recently stumbled upon the Mathieu groupoid and I found them fascinating.
It appears as a subset of $S_{13}$ which is not closed under multiplication, but it turns out to be a groupoid with 13 ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Which groups have only real and quaternionic irreducible representations?

Consider a continuous irreducible representation of a compact Lie group on a finite-dimensional complex Hilbert space. There are three mutually exclusive options:
1) it's not isomorphic to its dual ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

834 views

### In what sense is the classification of all finite groups “impossible”?

I think there is a general belief that the classification of all finite groups is "impossible". I would like to know if this claim can be made more precise in any way. For instance, if there is a ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

792 views

### Number of 2-dimensional irreducible representations of a finite group ?

Question: What is the number of two-dimensional irreducible representations of a finite group ? How it can be expressed in groups-theoretic terms ? (Number of 1-dimensional irreps is |G/[G,G]| ).
...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

510 views

### Ratio of number of subgroups to the order of a finite group

Let $\mathcal{G}$ be the set of finite groups and for $G \in \mathcal{G}$, let $S(G)$ be the set of subgroups of $G$. I am interested in the ratio $R(G)=|S(G)|/|G|$. It is easy to show that by picking ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

658 views

### Are There Always Group Generators Which Give Unimodal Growth?

Suppose $G$ is a $k$-generated finite group. Is there always a set of $k$ elements which generate the group and have a unimodal counting function?
Background:
The counting function, $f(n)$, is a ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

375 views

### Applications of the surjectivity of Brauer's decomposition map over arbitrary fields?

Recently I've been going over some of Serre's reformulation of Brauer theory with a student, following the influential treatment in Part III of Serre's lectures (revised 1971 French edition) later ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### Classification of finite groups of isometries

Consider the problem of classifying the finite groups of isometries of R^n.
--For n=2 it is cyclic and dihedral groups.
--For n=3 they are well known, probably from Kepler and are related to ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### (co)homology of symmetric groups

Let $S_n=\{\text{bijections }[n]\to[n]\}$ be the n-th symmetric group. Its (co)homology will be understood with trivial action. What are the $\mathbb{Z}$-modules $H_k(S_n;\mathbb{Z})$? Using GAP, we ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

676 views

### What algebraic structures are related to the McGee graph?

Recall that an $(n,g)$-graph is a simple graph where each node has $n$ neighbors and the shortest cycle has length $g$, while an $(n,g)$-cage is $(n,g)$-graph with the minimum number of nodes.
The ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

488 views

### Finite groups $G$ so that $G$ has exactly two subgroups of a given order

Is there a finite group $G$ and a divisor $d$ of $|G|$ so that $G$ contains exactly two subgroups of order $d$?
The motivation for this question is an old qual problem (see ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

868 views

### Non-isomorphic finite simple groups

Hello,
The smallest integer $n$ such that there exists two non-isomorphic simple groups of order $n$, is $n=20160$ (namely for the groups $\mathrm{PSL}_3(\mathbb F _4)$ and $\mathrm{PSL}_4(\mathbb F ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Injective proof about sizes of conjugacy classes in S_n

It's not hard to count the number of permutations in a given conjugacy class of Sn. In particular, the number of permutations in Sn whose cycle decomposition has ci i-cycles is n!/(Πi=1n ci!ici). ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

604 views

### Lower bounds on the number of elements in Sylow subgroups

I posted this question on Math.SE (link), but it didn't get any answers so I'm going to ask here. This is an edited version of the question.
Let $p$ be a prime and $n \geq 1$ some integer. ...

**15**

votes

**0**answers

303 views

### Maximum automorphism group for a 3-connected cubic graph

The following arose as a side issue in a project on graph reconstruction.
Problem: Let $a(n)$ be the greatest order of the automorphism group of a 3-connected cubic graph with $n$ vertices. Find a ...

**14**

votes

**3**answers

874 views

### Use of n-transitivity in finite group theory

Hello, apparently finite groups which are n-transitive with n>5 are only the permutation groups Sn or the alternating groups An+2, see e.g. page 226 this book by Isaacs ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

688 views

### The number of group elements whose squares lie in a given subgroup

This number is divisible by the order of the subgroup http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.2824.
The proof is short but non-trivial. Is this fact new or is it known for a long time?

**14**

votes

**2**answers

579 views

### Maximal number of maximal subgroups

Let $G$ be a finite group. I want to find an upper bound on the number of the maximal subgroups. My questions is does it possible to prove that the number of maximal subgroups of any finite group $G$ ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Groups with all normal subgroups characteristic

Today in my research, I had to use fairly explicitly the rather tautological property of finite cyclic groups that every normal subgroup is characteristic, i.e. fixed by all automorphisms. This got me ...