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Unformatted text preview: ALGEBRA HANDOUT 2.5: MORE ON COMMUTATIVE GROUPS PETE L. CLARK 1. Reminder on quotient groups Let G be a group and H a subgroup of G . We have seen that the left cosets xH of H in G give a partition of G . Motivated by the case of quotients of rings by ideals, it is natural to consider the product operation on cosets. Recall that for any subsets S,T of G , by ST we mean { st  s S,t T } . If G is commutative, the product of two left cosets is another left coset: ( xH )( yH ) = xyHH = xyH. In fact, what we really used was that for all y G , yH = Hy . For an arbitrary group G , this is a property of the subgroup H , called normality . But it is clear and will be good enough for us that if G is commutative, all subgroups are normal. If G is a group and H is a normal subgroup, then the set of left cosets, denoted G/H , itself forms a group under the above product operation, called the quotient group of G by H . The map which assigns x G to its coset xH G/H is in fact a surjective group homomorphism q : G G/H , called the quotient map (or in common jargon, the natural map), and its kernel is precisely the subgroup H . Theorem 1. (Isomorphism theorem) Let f : G G be a surjective homomor phism of groups, with kernel K . Then G/K is isomorphic to G . Proof. We define the isomorphism q ( f ) : G/K G in terms of f : map the coset xK to f ( x ) G . This is welldefined, because if xK = x K , then x = xk for some k K , and then f ( x ) = f ( x ) f ( k ) = f ( x ) e = f ( x ) , since k is in the kernel of f . It is immediate to check that q ( f ) is a homomorphism of groups. Because f is surjective, for y G there exists x G such that f ( x ) = y and then q ( f )( xK ) = y , so q ( f ) is surjective. Finally, if q ( f )( xK ) = e , then f ( x ) = e and x K , so xK = K is the identity element of G/K . In other words, a group G is (isomorphic to) a quotient of a group G iff there exists a surjective group homomorphism from G to G . Corollary 2. If G and G are finite groups such that there exists a surjective group homomorphism f : G G , then # G  # G . Proof. G = G/ ker f , so # G #(ker f ) = # G . 1 2 PETE L. CLARK Remark: Suitably interepreted, this remains true for infinite groups. Corollary 3. (transitivity of quotients) If G is isomorphic to a quotient group of G and G is isomorphic to a quotient group of G , then G is isomorphic to a quotient group of G . Proof. We have surjective group homomorphisms q 1 : G G and q 2 : G G , so the composition q 2 q 1 is a surjective group homomorphism from G to G ....
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course MATH 4400 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of Georgia Athens.
 Spring '11
 Staff
 Algebra, Number Theory, Sets

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