Questions about the branch of abstract algebra that deals with groups.

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31
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1k views

Normalizers in symmetric groups

Question: Let $G$ be a finite group. Is it true that there is a subgroup $U$ inside some symmetric group $S_n$, such that $N(U)/U$ is isomorphic to $G$? Here $N(U)$ is the normalizer of $U$ in $S_n$. ...
22
votes
0answers
361 views

Class function counting solutions of equation in finite group: when is it a virtual character?

Let $w=w(x_1,\dots,x_n)$ be a word in a free group of rank $n$. Let $G$ be a finite group. Then we may define a class function $f=f_w$ of $G$ by $$ f_w(g) = |\{ (x_1,\dots, x_n)\in G^n\mid ...
21
votes
0answers
720 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)\, ...
20
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0answers
860 views

Do all possible trees arise as orbit trees of some permutation groups?

I.Motivation from descriptive set theory (Contains some quotes from Maciej Malicki's paper.) The classical theorem of Birkhoff-Kakutani implies that every metrizable topological group G admits a ...
20
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0answers
557 views

Why are there so few quaternionic representations of simple groups?

Having spent many hours looking through the Atlas of Finite Simple Groups while in Grad school, I recall being rather intrigued by the fact that among the sporadic groups, only one (McLaughlin as I ...
19
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0answers
663 views

Non-linear expanders?

Recall that a family of graphs (indexed by an infinite set, such as the primes, say) is called an expander family if there is a $\delta>0$ such that, on every graph in the family, the discrete ...
19
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248 views

Uniform proof that a finite reflection group is determined by its degrees?

Given a finite (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 polynomial ...
19
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536 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 ...
18
votes
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336 views

Characteristic subgroups and direct powers

Solved question: Suppose H is a characteristic subgroup of a group G. Is it then necessary that, for every natural number n, in the group $G^n$ (the external direct product of $G$ with itself $n$ ...
17
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671 views

Could unramified Galois groups satisfy a version of property tau?

This is an experiment: there is a question I want to mention in an article I'm writing, and I am not sure it's a sensible question, so I will ask it here first, in the hopes that if it's insensible ...
17
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0answers
420 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 ...
16
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219 views

Kaplansky's unit conjecture and unique products

There are three conjectures on group rings that bear the name of Kaplansky (see for example this question). The 'unit conjecture' in the title of the present question is the strongest of them, and ...
16
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0answers
337 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 ...
16
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0answers
559 views

Quotients of residually finite groups by amenable normal subgroups

My questions are: Is there any group, which cannot be written as the quotient of a residually finite group by an amenable normal subgroup? Is it possible for large classes of groups? and Is ...
15
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246 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 ...
15
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480 views

Are amenable groups topologizable?

I've learned about the notion of topologizability from "On topologizable and non-topologizable groups" by Klyachko, Olshanskii and Osin (http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.7895) - a discrete group $G$ is ...
14
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672 views

Is there an infinite field of characteristic 2 whose multiplicative group is torsion free and (direct-sum) indecomposable?

Let $F$ be a infinite field of characteristic 2 whose multiplicative group $F^*$ is torsion free. I would like to conclude that $F^*$ is decomposable or find an example where $F^*$ is indecomposable. ...
14
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743 views

Epimorphisms $\mathbb{Z}^{\mathbb{N}} \to \mathbb{Z}^{\mathbb{N}}$ are split

Consider the additive group of integer sequences $\mathbb{Z}^{\mathbb{N}}$. Why does every epimorphism of groups $\mathbb{Z}^{\mathbb{N}} \to \mathbb{Z}^{\mathbb{N}}$ split? $(\star)$ Actually this ...
14
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0answers
454 views

Motivation for Hall-Witt identity

I've wondered for a while about the (Hall-)Witt identity in group theory: $[[a,b^{-1}],c]^b \cdot [[b,c^{-1}],a]^c \cdot [[c,a^{-1}]],b]^a = 1$. (Here, $x^y$ means $y^{-1}xy$ and $[x,y]$ ...
14
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562 views

Galois theory: Generalization of Abel's Theorem?

Let $L$ stand for the field obtained by adjoining to ${\Bbb Q}$ all roots of all polynomials of the form $x^n+ax+b$, $a,b\in {\Bbb Q}$. What polynomials $p$ don't split over $L$? In particular, ...
13
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468 views

What's the big deal about $M_{13}$?

$M_{13}$ is the Mathieu groupoid defined by Conway in Conway, J. H. $M_{13}$. Surveys in combinatorics, 1997 (London), 1–11, London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Ser., 241, Cambridge Univ. Press, ...
13
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0answers
262 views

Relation Between Truncated Braid Groups and Regular Tilings of the Complex and Hyperbolic Plane

This is perhaps a vague question, but hopefully there exists literature on the subject. The question is motivated by an answer I gave to this question on math.SE. There exists a rather remarkable ...
13
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0answers
596 views

The symmetric group and the field with one element

I've heard a few times that the symmetric group is an algebraic group over a field with one element, and that the alternating group is quite specifically $SO_n(\mathbb{F}_1)$. This does make a lot of ...
13
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0answers
425 views

The multiplication game on the free group

Fix $W\subseteq\mathbb F_2$ and consider the following two-person game: Player 1 and Player 2 simultaneously choose $x$ and $y$ in $\mathbb F_2$. The first player wins, say one dollar, iff $xy\in W$. ...
13
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0answers
470 views

Some questions on unitarisability of discrete groups

In this post I would like to ask several of questions related to Dixmier problem. I will try to make the post as self-contained as possible. A discrete group $G$ is unitarisable if for every Hilbert ...
12
votes
0answers
188 views

Bounding the lengths of the conjugators in the word problem for finite group presentations

Let $G = \langle X \mid R \rangle$ be a group defined by a finite presentation, and let $F$ be the free group on $X$. If $w \in F$ represents the identity in $G$, then $w$ is equal in $F$ to (the free ...
12
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0answers
284 views

What is an example of a word hyperbolic group without a finite complete rewriting system?

I believe that it was an open question back when I was a graduate student whether every word hyperbolic group admits a finite complete (=Church-Rosser=Noetherian+confluent) rewriting system for some ...
12
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0answers
282 views

Nilpotent pro-$p$ groups

Is it true that every finitely generated (topologically) torsion free nilpotent pro-$p$ group is isomorphic to a subgroup of $U_d(\mathbb{Z}_p)$, the group of $d\times d$-upper triangular matrices ...
12
votes
0answers
539 views

What can be said about Schur indices, given only the character table?

Let $\chi$ be an irreducible (complex) character of a finite group, $G$. The Schur index $m_{K}(\chi)$ of $\chi$ over the field $K$ is the smallest positive integer $m$ such that $m\chi$ is afforded ...
12
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0answers
555 views

Are all these groups CAT(0) groups?

Given a geodesic metric space $X$ together with a choice of midpoints $m:X\times X\rightarrow X$ (i.e. $d(m(x,y),x)=d(m(x,y),y)=d(x,y)/2$). Assume furthermore, that the following nonpositive ...
12
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0answers
425 views

A commutative monoid associated with a finite abelian group

Let $M$ be a finite abelian group, and denote by $e_m$, for $m \in M$, the canonical basis of $\mathbb{Z}^M$. For $m, n \in M$ define elements $v_{m,n} \in \mathbb{Z}^M/\langle e_0\rangle$ as $$ ...
11
votes
0answers
223 views

Are there additive subgroups of reals of dimension 1 with no subgroups of dimension strictly between 0 and 1?

I will use $dimA$ to denote the Hausdorff dimension of a set $A \subseteq \mathbb{R}$. Being a null set means having Lebesgue measure zero. In the 1966 paper "Additive gruppen mit vorgegebener ...
11
votes
0answers
250 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
336 views

Does anybody know if the Fourier algebra of SL(3,Z) has an approximate identity?

(Note to those who like to tidy LaTeX, or ${\rm \LaTeX}$: I kindly request that you don't put any LaTeX in the title of this question, nor change the bolds below to blackboard ...
11
votes
0answers
149 views

Fundamental groups of reduced subgroup lattices

Let $G$ be a group. Its subgroup lattice, denoted $\Sigma G$, consists of all subgroups of $G$ partially ordered by inclusion. The topology of this poset is quite trivial, since it always has a ...
11
votes
0answers
301 views

Splay trees and Thompson's group $F$

( I apologize for only indicating some easy to find references, but new users are not allowed to link more than five). This is very speculative, but: Question: Is there a reformulation of the Dynamic ...
11
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0answers
396 views

Possible orders of products of 2 involutions which interchange disjoint residue classes of the integers

Definition / Question Definition: Let $r(m)$ denote the residue class $r+m\mathbb{Z}$, where $0 \leq r < m$. Given disjoint residue classes $r_1(m_1)$ and $r_2(m_2)$, let the class transposition ...
11
votes
0answers
506 views

Groups generated by 3 involutions

Let $r(m)$ denote the residue class $r+m\mathbb{Z}$, where $0 \leq r < m$. Given disjoint residue classes $r_1(m_1)$ and $r_2(m_2)$, let the class transposition $\tau_{r_1(m_1),r_2(m_2)}$ be the ...
10
votes
0answers
229 views

$2$-group with two isomorphic normal subgroups of index $4$ with non-isomorphic quotients

Hypothesis: Let $P$ be a finite $2$-group with two isomorphic normal subgroups $M$ and $N$ such that $P/M\cong C_4$ (the cyclic group of order $4$) while $P/N\cong C_2^2$. By the lattice theorem, ...
10
votes
0answers
217 views

Groups with reduced C*-algebras of stable rank 1

Let $G$ be a countable discrete group, $C_r^*(G)$ its reduced $C^*$-algebra. We say that $G$ has stable rank 1 if $C_r^*(G)$ has stable rank one, that is, the set of invertible elements is dense in ...
10
votes
0answers
127 views

Star-shaped Folner sequence

Fix a (finite) generating set $S$ for $\Gamma$ (discrete) amenable. Given a Følner sequence (i.e. a sequence of finite sets $F_n$ whose boundary $\partial F_n$ in the Cayley graph of $S$ is such that ...
10
votes
0answers
271 views

Characteristic subgroup of nilpotent group that is not invariant under powering

I want an example of a nilpotent group $G$, a characteristic subgroup $H$, and a prime number $p$ such that: $G$ is $p$-powered, i.e., every element of $G$ has a unique $p^{th}$ root in $G$. $H$ is ...
10
votes
0answers
318 views

Group rings isomorphic over F_p, but not over Z_p ?

Suppose given a prime $p$. Question: Do there exist finite groups $G$ and $H$ such that ${\bf F}_p G$ is isomorphic to ${\bf F}_p H$, but such that ${\bf Z}_p G$ is not isomorphic to ${\bf Z}_p H$ ? ...
10
votes
0answers
465 views

Centralizers of group actions

Let a locally compact group $G$ act on a probability space $(X,\mu)$. Define the centralizer by $C(G)=\{\Delta\in Aut(X,\mu)\mid \Delta(gx)=g\Delta(x)\text{ almost everywhere}\}$. $Aut(X,\mu)$ denotes ...
10
votes
0answers
332 views

Higher-dimensional algebraic subgroups of the proalgebraic Nottingham group?

Let $R$ be a commutative ring, and, for $n\ge0$, ${\mathcal{A}}_n={\mathcal{A}}_n(R)$ the group of series $u(x)=\sum_0^\infty a_jx^{j+1}\in R[[x]]$ for which $a_0\in R^\times$ and $u(x)\equiv ...
10
votes
0answers
364 views

Where can I find analogues of combinatorial central limit theorems for other groups

The statement of Hoeffding's combinatorial central limit theorem is as follows: given for each $n$, an $n \times n$ matrix $A = (a_{ij})$, one can consider the random diagonal sum: $$\displaystyle ...
9
votes
0answers
225 views

Non split extension isomorphic (as a group) to a split extension

$\def\Z{\mathbb{Z}}$ Let $A$ be a finite abelian group and $G$ a finite group acting on $A$. Then the extension $0 \to A \to E \to G \to 1$ is splits if and only if the corresponding $2$-cocycle is ...
9
votes
0answers
402 views

How many sporadic simple groups are there, really?

I attended a talk by John Conway recently where he explained to us that the usual number, 26, was wrong, that there are in fact 27 sporadic simple groups. His reason was that the Tits group, which is ...
9
votes
0answers
170 views

Proving amenability of an extension by using paradoxical decompositions

It is well known that an extension of an amenable group by an amenable group is amenable. Is it possible to prove that by using only paradoxical decompositions: if $G$ has a paradoxical decomposition ...
9
votes
0answers
263 views

Topology of marked groups for different number of generators

A $k$-marked groups is a pair $(G,S)$ where $G$ is a group and $S$ is an ordered set of $k$ generators of $G$. Each such pair can be identified with a normal subgroup of the free group $F_k$ of rank ...