The symmetric group $S_n$ is the group of permutations of the set of integers $\{1,\dots,n\}$. This has $n!$ elements and is generated by the $n-1$ involutions exchanging consecutive integers. The symmetric groups form the simplest family of Coxeter groups.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

83
votes
4answers
3k views

What do the stable homotopy groups of spheres say about the combinatorics of finite sets?

The Barratt-Priddy-Quillen(-Segal) theorem says that the following spaces are homotopy equivalent in an (essentially) canonical way: $\Omega^\infty S^\infty:=\varinjlim~ \Omega^nS^n$ ...
59
votes
4answers
3k views

Is ${\rm S}_6$ the automorphism group of a group?

The automorphism group of the symmetric group $S_n$ is $S_n$ when $n$ is not $2$ or $6$, in which cases it is respectively $1$ and the semidirect product of $S_6$ with the (cyclic) group of order $2$. ...
37
votes
3answers
3k views

What to do now that Lusztig's and James' conjectures have been shown to be false?

Lusztig and James provided conjectures for dimensions of simple modules (or decomposition numbers) for algebraic groups and symmetric groups in characteristic $p$. These conjectures have been ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the applications of immanants?

Definitions of determinant: $\det(A) = \sum_{\sigma \in S_n}(-1)^{\operatorname{sgn} \sigma}\prod_{i}a_{i, \sigma(i)}$ and permanent: $\mathrm{per}(A) = \sum_{\sigma \in S_n}\prod_{i}a_{i, ...
20
votes
1answer
623 views

Is there an easy description of the structure of this infinite group?

Let $S_\infty$ denote the full symmetric group on countably many points and index the points by $\mathbb{N}$. For any weight (for lack of a better name) function $w:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow\mathbb R^+$, ...
19
votes
0answers
404 views

Nekrasov-Okounkov hook length formula

I am now reading the paper An explicit expansion formula for the powers of the Euler Product in terms of partition hook lengths by Guo-Niu Han. The author rediscovered what he calls Nekrasov-Okounkov ...
18
votes
6answers
800 views

Why is the right permutohedron order (aka weak order) on $S_n$ a lattice?

This is one of those things I never expected to be hard until I tried to prove it. Why is the right permutohedron order (a.k.a. weak Bruhat order, a.k.a. weak order -- not to be confused with the ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are Jucys-Murphy elements' eigenvalues whole numbers?

The Jucys-Murphy elements of the group algebra of a finite symmetric group (here's the definition in Wikipedia) are known to correspond to operators diagonal in the Young basis of an irreducible ...
18
votes
2answers
742 views

An n!-dimensional representation of the symmetric group S_{n+2}

I have come across a sequence of representations $V_n$ of the symmetric group $S_{n+2}$ which has the property that restricting the action $S_n \subset S_{n+2}$ gives the regular representation: $$ ...
18
votes
1answer
864 views

Conjectural identities for Young symmetrizers and Young-Jucys-Murphy elements

The following questions I have found in my own notes from about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, I lost much of the context; I believe I made these conjectures reading Okounkov-Vershik, arXiv:0503040v3, ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

An n!xn! determinant.

Let us consider the matrix $A$ with its rows and columns enumerated by the elements of $S_n$ with $A_{\sigma\tau}=x^{c(\sigma\tau^{-1})}$ where $c()$ is the number of cycles in a permutation's ...
17
votes
1answer
532 views

What is the length of the shortest law of $S_n$?

What is the length of the shortest word $w\in F_2$ such that $w(x,y)$ is trivial for every $x,y\in S_n$? There is a simple argument showing that we must have $\ell(w)\geq n$. See here for instance. ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Has Reifegerste's Theorem on RSK and Knuth relations received a slick proof by now?

For the notations I am using, I refer to the Appendix at the end of this post. Here is what, for the sake of this post, I consider to be Reifegerste's theorem: Theorem 1. Let $n\in\mathbb N$ and ...
16
votes
1answer
237 views

Cohomology of configuration space as a representation of the symmetric group

Let $X_n$ be the space of $n$ distinct labeled points in $\mathbb{R}^3$, which is equipped with an action of the symmetric group $S_n$. It is well known that the total cohomology of $X_n$ is ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Rhombus tilings with more than three directions

The point of this question is to construct a list of references on the following subject: Fix vectors $v_1$, $v_2$, ..., $v_g$ in $\mathbb{R}^2$, all lying in a half plane in that cyclic order. I am ...
16
votes
1answer
390 views

Okounkov-Vershik approach to representation theory of $S_n$

This is a rather soft question. I was wondering if someone could explain on a fundamental and intuitive level, what the Okounkov-Vershik approach to representation theory of $S_n$ is all about. It's ...
15
votes
2answers
410 views

Minimal maximal subgroup of the symmetric group

The question is pretty much in the title: What is the maximal subgroup of $S_d$ of maximal index (so minimal size)? A slight variant (I am not sure if it leads to a different answer) is: what if we ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

roots of permutations

Consider equation $x^2=x_0$ in symmetric group $S_n$, where $x_0\in S_n$ is fixed. Is it true that for each integer $n\geq 1$, the maximal number of solutions (square roots) has identity permutation? ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

A general formula for the number of conjugacy classes of $\mathbb{S}_n \times \mathbb{S}_n$ acted on by $ \mathbb{S}_n$

$\def\S{\mathbb{S}}$ Dear all, So I have $\S_n$ acting on $\S_n \times \S_n$ via conjugacy. That is: for $g \in \S_n, (x,y) \in \S_n \times \S_n$: $g(x,y) = (gxg^{-1},gyg^{-1}).$ Is there a general ...
14
votes
4answers
676 views

Largest permutation group without 2-cycles or 3-cycles

The largest permutation group without 2-cycles is $A_n$, which has size $n!/2$. I think the largest permutation group without 2-cycles or 3-cycles is much smaller, but I can't figure out if it should ...
14
votes
2answers
453 views

factorization of the regular representation of the symmetric group

Let $\mathbb{C}[S_n]$ be the regular representation of the symmetric group $S_n$, and let $\mathbb{C}^n$ be the vector representation. Question: Does there exist a representation $V$ (of dimension ...
13
votes
1answer
598 views

Connected components $0-1$ matrices

Let $M$ be a $0-1$ matrix. Here a matrix has one component means we can traverse from a matrix entry $(i,j)$ which is $1$ to any other one by moving step of $(i\pm1,j),(i,j\pm1),(i\pm1,j\pm1)$ where ...
13
votes
0answers
722 views

Diagonalizing some matrices arising from Fourier transform on $S_n$.

Consider the function $f$ on $S_n$ which equals $1/n$ on all adjacent transpositions $(i,i+1)$, where we let $n+1 = 1$, and $0$ otherwise, and its Fourier transform $\hat{f}(\rho)$ evaluated at the ...
13
votes
0answers
446 views

Where do stable Kronecker coefficients live “in nature”?

Background: For a partition $\lambda$, let $\lambda[N] = (N - |\lambda|, \lambda_1, \lambda_2, \lambda_3, \dots)$, also let $\chi_\lambda$ be the corresponding irreducible character of the symmetric ...
12
votes
4answers
907 views

Number of squares in a finite group

This was asked at MSE but never answered. Let $G$ be a finite group and denote by $sq(G)$ the number of squares in $G$ i.e. the number of elements in $G$ which possess a square root. For example, if ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Cyclic Permutations - but not what you think

This question is not about elements of $S_n$ that consist of a single $n$-cycle, though naturally it's related. Instead, consider permutations modulo the action of $(123\ldots n)$. That is, we ...
12
votes
2answers
732 views

Branching rule from symmetric group $S_{2n}$ to hyperoctahedral group $H_n$

Embed the hyperoctahedral group $H_n$ into the symmetric group $S_{2n}$ as the centralizer of the involution $(1, 2) (3, 4) \cdots (2n-1, 2n)$ (cycle notation). Label representations of $S_{2n}$ by ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Making the branching rule for the symmetric group concrete

This question concerns the characteristic $0$ representation theory of the symmetric group $S_n$. I'm a topologist, not a representation theorist, so I apologize if I state it in an odd way. First, ...
11
votes
1answer
305 views

Can a large transitive permutation group need many generators?

let $G$ be a transitive permutation group acting on $\{1, \ldots, n\}$, and let $d(G)$ be the minimal number of generators of $G$. Is it true, that for $n\rightarrow\infty$ we have ...
11
votes
1answer
430 views

The Simultaneous Conjugacy Problem in the symmetric group $S_N$

We are interested in the following notions in the case $G=S_N$, the symmetric group on $\{1,\dots,N\}$. Fix a group $G$ and a number $d$. For $(g_1,\dots,g_d)\in G^d$ and $x\in G$, define ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How ugly is the isomorphism R[GxH] = R[G] (X) R[H] for groups G, H?

Clearly, when $G$ and $H$ are two finite groups, and $V$ and $W$ are two representations of $G$ and $H$, respectively, then $V\otimes W$ is a representation of the group $G\times H$. It is a ...
11
votes
0answers
172 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
358 views

Reference request: The stable Kronecker ring is isomorphic to the ring of symmetric polynomials

Background For $\lambda$ any partition and $n$ a positive integer, write $\lambda[n]$ for the sequence $(n - |\lambda|, \lambda_1, \lambda_2, \ldots, \lambda_r)$. For $n$ large enough, this is a ...
10
votes
0answers
419 views

A $q$-analogue of Foulkes' character related to alternating permutations

My paper "Alternating permutations and symmetric functions" at http://math.mit.edu/~rstan/papers/altenum.pdf enumerates certain classes of alternating permutations, such as those whose inverse is ...
9
votes
4answers
901 views

Number of Permutations?

Edit: This is a modest rephrasing of the question as originally stated below the fold: for $n \geq 3$, let $\sigma \in S_n$ be a fixed-point-free permutation. How many fixed-point-free permutations ...
9
votes
1answer
480 views

Problems which use S₄ → S₃

I need examples of problems which use, directly or indirectly, the homomorphism $S_4\to S_3$ in the solution (its kernel is $\mathbb{Z}_2\oplus\mathbb{Z}_2$). Obvious candidates: Lagrange resolvent ...
9
votes
3answers
880 views

How do most people write permutations?

I'd like to know how people prefer to write permutations, or elements of the symmetric group $S_n$ for $n\ge0$. The most natural way to define a permutation in $S_n$ is as a bijection on the set ...
9
votes
2answers
496 views

What is the probability that two random permutations have the same order?

I am interested in the orders of random permutations. Since the law of the logarithm of the order of a permutation converges to a normal law (for instance Erdös-Turan Statistical group theory III), ...
9
votes
1answer
230 views

Invariant ring of $S_5$

The irreducible representations of the Symmetric group $S_5$ are classified by the partitions of $5$. For the standard representation which corresponds to the partition (4,1) the ring of invariants is ...
8
votes
2answers
303 views

Characters of permutation groups

Let $N$ be a fixed positive integer, and denote by $C(m)$ the number of permutations on an $N$-element set that have exactly $m$ cycles (counting $1$-cycles). Then it is in the literature that the ...
8
votes
2answers
655 views

Generalizing the Fundamental Theorem of Symmetric Polynomials

The fundamental theorem of symmetric polynomials tells us that the ring $\mathbb{Z}[x_1,\ldots,x_n]^{S_n}$ of symmetric polynomials in $n$ variables is generated (without relations) by the elementary ...
8
votes
1answer
803 views

On Applications of Murnaghan Nakayama Rule

This question is crossposted at math.stackexchange here and may be beyond the usual scope of the site. The question is located below. In short, I am looking for an accessible explanation of the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a Specht module?

I'm studying the structure of the Specht module for $S_n$ and I would like to know if there is some generalizations of this structure for Weyls groups or Coxeter groups. Also, I'm interest to know ...
8
votes
1answer
309 views

Restriction of characters of hyperoctahedral groups.

The hyperoctahedral group $H_n$ has several descriptions; as a wreath product; as signed permutation matrices; as the Weyl group of type $B_n$ or $C_n$. In all these descriptions it is apparent that ...
7
votes
4answers
381 views

Is there a non-explicit characterization of the Specht modules?

It is a basic fact about the symmetric group $S_n$ that its irreducible representations are indexed by partitions of $n$. My question is, can the association between partitions and irreps be ...
7
votes
1answer
265 views

Linear relations among permutation matrices

Given a permutation $\sigma\in S_n$, let $P_\sigma$ denote the corresponding $n\times n$ permutation matrix. It is easy to see that for $n=3$, there is only one linear relation up to scaling given by ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

Two ways of generalizing factorials via symmetric groups

By the Bruhat decomposition of $GL(n, \mathbb{F}_q) / B_n$ we know that $$[n]! = \sum_{ \sigma \in S(n)} q^{l(\sigma)}$$ where $[n]! = \prod_{j=1}^n (1+q + \cdots + q^{j-1})$ and $l(\sigma)$ is the ...
7
votes
1answer
744 views

Derived functors of symmetric powers

What do the derived functors of the symmetric powers look like? I understand that this is related to the homology of the symmetric groups, but I don't know a reference for that. Namely, I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
509 views

Littlewood Richardson rule and seminormal basis of Specht modules

Background Seminormal Basis of Specht modules of $\mathfrak{S}_n$ Let $\lambda$ be a partition of $n$. A $\lambda$-tableau is a bijection $\mathfrak{t}:\lambda \to \{1,2,...,n\}$. We say a ...
7
votes
1answer
614 views

Permutation character of the symmetric group on subsets of certain size

The symmetric group $S_n$ acts on $[n]:=\{1,\ldots,n\}$, thereby inducing an action on the set $$\wp_k(n)=\{\: A\subseteq[n] \::\: \#A=k \:\}$$ of subsets of cardinality $k$, simply by $$(g,A)\mapsto ...