# Questions tagged [finite-fields]

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 $(a_1,b_1),\dots,(...

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### 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 ...

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### Uniformization over finite fields?

The following is a question I've been asking people on and off for a few years, mostly out of idle curiosity, though I think it's pretty interesting. Since I've made more or less no progress, I ...

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### 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
$x^4+a_3x^3+...

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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.
...

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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 ...

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### 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 $\forall i\in[n]:f_{i}(a)=a_{i}$....

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### 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. ...

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### A modern perspective on the relationship between Drinfeld modules and shtukas

Shtukas were defined by Drinfeld as a generalization of Drinfeld modules. While the relationship between the definitions of Drinfeld modules and shtukas is not obvious, one does have a natural ...

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### 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 ...

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### 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 ...

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### 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 ...

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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 $n$...

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### 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 ...

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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 ...

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### 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 ...

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**1**answer

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### Varieties with the same number of $\mathbb{F}_p$-points for all but finitely many primes

If two varieties over $\mathbb{Q}$ have the same number of $\mathbb{F}_p$-points for all but finitely many primes do they have the same number of $\mathbb{F}_{p^n}$-points for all $n>1$ and for all ...

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### The period of Fibonacci numbers over finite fields

I stumbled upon these very nice looking notes by Brian Lawrence on the period of the Fibonacci numbers over finite fields. In them, he shows that the period of the Fibonacci sequence over $\mathbb{F}...

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### Conjecture: The number of points modulo $p$ of certain elliptic curve is $p$ or $p+2$ for $p$ of form $p=27a^2+27a+7$

Numerical evidence suggests a conjecture that the number of
points of certain elliptic curve over $\mathbb{F}_p$ is
either $p$ or $p+2$ for $p$ of certain form.
Let $p$ be prime of the form $p=27a^2+...

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### 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 ...

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### Is $x^p-x+1$ always irreducible in $\mathbb F_p[x]$?

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 ...

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### 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 ...

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### 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 $g-I$ ...

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### Elements of finite fields with many powers of trace zero

Let $p$ be an odd prime number, $n>1$ be an integer, and $\mathrm{tr}$ be the trace map of the field extension $\mathrm{GF}(p^{2n})/\mathrm{GF}(p)$. For which pair $(p,n)$ does there exists $x\in\...

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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" f:[0,1]→[...

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### Examples of problems where considering "discrete analogues" has provided insight or led to a solution of the original problem

The Kakeya conjecture posits that any Kakeya set in $\mathbb{R}^n$ has dimension $n$.
A discrete (finitized?) version of this problem is the Finite Field Kakeya conjecture, which was proved by Dvir ...

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### How do I see the equality $57 = 3 \times 19$ geometrically?

Consider the finite field ${\bf F}_p$ and its cubic extension ${\bf F}_{p^3}$. The multiplicative group ${\bf G}_m({\bf F}_{p^3})$ contains the multiplicative group ${\bf G}_m({\bf F}_p) \cong {\bf Z}/...

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### Good source for representation of GL(n) over finite fields?

I'd like to gain some understanding of unitary representations of GL(n) over finite fields. Any good source would be appreciated.
======== edit =========
My original question was ambiguous. ...

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### Can you use Chevalley‒Warning to prove existence of a solution?

Recall the Chevalley‒Warning theorem:
Theorem. Let $f_1, \ldots, f_r \in \mathbb F_q[x_1,\ldots,x_n]$ be polynomials of degrees $d_1, \ldots, d_r$. If
$$d_1 + \ldots + d_r < n,$$
then the ...

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### 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 ...

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### Do we expect abelian varieties (and “Artin motives”) to generate the Grothendieck ring of varieties over a finite field?

The Tate conjecture implies that the category of motives over a finite field is generated (as tensor category) by the motives of abelian varieties and Artin motives. See [1] for details.
Let $K(\...

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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 divisble ...

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### 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 $d$ ...

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### 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 $f_2 = x^{m_2} + (1+x)^{n_2}$ ...

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### Zeta function of Abelian variety over finite field

Let $A/\mathbf{F}_q$ be an Abelian variety of dimension $g$. Suppose one knows $|A(\mathbf{F}_{q^n})|$ for all $1 \leq n \leq g$. Does one know then $\zeta(A,s)$ (equivalently, $|A(\mathbf{F}_{q^n})|$ ...

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### Lower bounds for class number of function fields with fixed $q$, growing $g$

Let $X$ be a smooth project curve of genus $g$ over the finite field with $q$ elements. Let $h$ be $\# \mathrm{Pic}^0(X)(\mathbb{F}_q)$. Weil showed that $h \geq (\sqrt{q}-1)^{2g}$. Lachaud and Martin-...

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### Existence of a polynomial $Q$ of degree $\geq (p-1)/4$ in $\mathbb F_p[x]$ such that $QQ'$ factorizes into distinct linear factors

For all primes up to $p=89$ there exists a product $Q=\prod_{j=1}^d(x-a_j)$ involving $d\geq (p-1)/4$ distinct linear factors $x-a_j$ in $\mathbb F_p[x]$ such that $Q'$ has all its roots in $\mathbb ...

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### 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 ...

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### Number of commuting pairs (triples, n-tuples) in GL_n(F_q) (and other groups)?

Question 1 What is the number of pairs of commuting elements in GL_n(F_q) ?
I am aware of many results concerning commuting elements in Mat_n(F_q), but I am interested in GL i.e. non-degenerate ...

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### 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 ...

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### Roots of lacunary polynomials over a finite field

If $P$ is a polynomial over the field $\mathbb F_q$ of degree at most $q-2$ with $k$ nonzero coefficients, then $P$ has at most $(1-1/k)(q-1)$ distinct nonzero roots.
Does this fact have any standard ...

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### Collatz-like properties of finite fields

I was wondering what an equivalent of the Collatz conjecture might be for finite fields. In a Collatz sequence a number is moved down within a set $\{2^k n : k \in \mathbb{Z}^* \}$ for some odd $n$ or ...

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### 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 $d< n$...

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### Near-linear mappings from $\mathbb F_p$ to $\mathbb R$

$\newcommand{\F}{{\mathbb F}}$
$\newcommand{\R}{{\mathbb R}}$
$\renewcommand{\phi}{\varphi}$
Let $p\ge 5$ be a prime.
If the functions $\phi_1,\phi_2,\phi_3\colon\F_p\to\R$ satisfy $\phi_1(x)+\...

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### 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 $...

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### 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 $\...

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### Number triangle

This question arose just out of curiosity. Note the triangle of 0-1's below, whose construction is as follows. Choose any number, say 53 as done here. The first line of the triangle is the binary ...

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### 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 $ord_xf$ ...

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### 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 \mathbb{F}_p[x]...

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### Steinberg representation for sporadic simple groups?

The Steinberg representation is a remarkable irreducible representation of a reductive algebraic group over a finite field or local field, or a group with a BN-pair. It is analogous to the 1-...