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

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42
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2k 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 $S_n$. ...
34
votes
0answers
604 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 w(x_1,\dots,...
27
votes
0answers
868 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 ...
24
votes
0answers
976 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 ...
23
votes
0answers
544 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 odd-...
21
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0answers
284 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 $1,2,\ldots,n$ ...
21
votes
0answers
753 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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642 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
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0answers
458 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
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0answers
766 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 ...
18
votes
0answers
408 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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303 views

Nonabelian topological fundamental group of a conjugate variety

Let $X$ be a pointed algebraic variety over the field of complex numbers $\mathbb{C}$. Let $\pi_1^{\rm top}(X)$ and $\pi_1^{\mathrm{\acute{e}t}}(X)$ denote the topological and the étale fundamental ...
16
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532 views

How boundedly generated is $SL_3(\mathbb{Z})$?

The group $G = \mathrm{SL}_3(\mathbb{Z})$ is known to be boundedly generated, that is, there exists some $m \in \mathbb{N}$, and $g_1, \dots, g_m \in G$ such that we have the following equality of ...
16
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0answers
552 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 ...
16
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385 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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633 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
votes
0answers
266 views

Groups whose finite index subgroups of fixed index are isomorphic

I am interested in finitely generated groups $G$ that are residually finite and have the following property: For each $d \geq 1$, $G$ has subgroups of finite index $d$, and all such subgroups are ...
15
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0answers
280 views

Partitions of ${\rm Sym}(\mathbb{N})$ induced by convergent, but not absolutely convergent series

Let $(a_n) \subset \mathbb{R}$ be a sequence such that the series $\sum_{n=1}^\infty a_n$ converges, but does not converge absolutely. Then there is a partition of the symmetric group ${\rm Sym}(\...
15
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0answers
320 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
votes
0answers
652 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 ...
14
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0answers
325 views

Does the category of G-spectra know G?

I was recently in the situation of having access to the category of $G$-modules (for some group $G$ which I had forgotten), as just a category, i.e. no monoidal structure, together with the forgetful ...
14
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291 views

In what sense is the braid group $B_3$ the universal central extension of the modular group $\Gamma$?

First let's recall some definitions. Let $G$ be a perfect group, so that $$H^2(G, A) \cong \text{Hom}(H_2(G), A)$$ for all abelian groups $A$ by universal coefficients. This means that when $A = ...
14
votes
0answers
588 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, ...
14
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0answers
761 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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0answers
808 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
votes
0answers
454 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 $xy\in W$. ...
14
votes
0answers
649 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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0answers
503 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 ...
14
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607 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
votes
0answers
315 views

Linear groups which don't contain products of free groups

Let $G \subset GL(n, \Bbb Z)$ be a f.g. linear group. The Tits alternative says that $G$ is either virtually solvable (i.e. has a solvable subgroup of finite index), or contains a free group $F_2$. ...
13
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0answers
382 views

Is $\mathbb{Z}^{\omega}$ ever the union of a chain of proper subgroups each isomorphic to $\mathbb{Z}^{\omega}$?

Recall that the covering number $cov(B)$ is the least cardinal $\kappa$ such that $\kappa$ meagre sets cover the real line. Andreas Blass and John Irwin http://www.math.lsa.umich.edu/~ablass/bb.pdf ...
13
votes
0answers
271 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 ...
13
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0answers
239 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
314 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
votes
0answers
670 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
votes
0answers
356 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
608 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
votes
0answers
187 views

How does a permutation $P$ affect the singular value $\sigma_{\text{max}}(Q^\top P^\top Q)$ for orthogonal $Q$?

Let $q_i$ for $i=1,\ldots,m$ be the columns of the matrix $Q\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times m}$, $n\geq 2m$, which are pairwise orthonormal ( i.e. $q_i^\top q_j = \begin{cases} 1 & \text{if}\quad i=j \\ 0 &...
12
votes
0answers
231 views

A meager subgroup of the real line, which cannot be covered by countably many closed subsets of measure zero?

Is there a ZFC-example of a subgroup $H$ of the real line $\mathbb R$ such $H$ is meager, has zero Lebesgue measure, but cannot be covered by countably many closed subsets of measure zero in $\mathbb ...
12
votes
0answers
392 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 bold.)$\newcommand{\FA}{{...
12
votes
0answers
325 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
votes
0answers
351 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
450 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 $...
12
votes
0answers
492 views

Connes & Marcolli: Q-lattices generalize Conway's “Understanding groups like $\Gamma_0(N)$”

Has anyone generalized Conway's description of Hecke operators on lattices to the Q-lattices of Connes & Marcolli ? Light may well be shone on moonshine thus.
12
votes
0answers
698 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
votes
0answers
448 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 $$ v_{m,...
11
votes
0answers
80 views

Finite quotients of amalgamated products with virtually nilpotent factors

Consider the amalgamated product $A\ast_C B$ of groups such that $A\neq C\neq B$ and both factors $A$, $B$ are finitely generated virtually nilpotent. Does $A\ast_C B$ always have a subgroup of some ...
11
votes
0answers
311 views

On sentences true in all finite groups (revisited)

Let $w$ be a group word with variables $\bar x, \bar y$, where $\bar x=(x_1,\dots ,x_m)$ and $\bar y=(y_1,\dots ,y_n).$ I am interested in the following questions. (1) Is the sentence $(\forall\bar ...
11
votes
0answers
175 views

What Is The Minimal Monomial of the Symmetric Group?

In the symmetric group $S_n$ what is the shortest sequence $c_1,\ldots,c_k\in S_n$ such that, for all $x\in S_n$ the following product of conjugates of $x$: $$x^{c_1}x^{c_2}\ldots x^{c_k}$$ equals the ...
11
votes
0answers
319 views

Elements of order 3 normalizing no non-identity 2-subgroups in Almost Simple Groups

This question is partly motivated by a situation which arises in modular representation theory. A finite group $G$ is said to be almost simple if $G$ has a unique minimal normal subgroup which is a ...