# Group theory - misprint?

1. Jun 24, 2004

### pdelong

I'm currently making my way through "Groups and Symmetry", by M. A. Armstrong [ISBN 0387966757], and I'm stuck on what seems like it should be a very simple exercise. Page 14, problem 3.8, states:

However, I can't make this work unless I change the "or" to an "and". So, is this a misprint, or am I missing something blindingly obvious?

Later,
Paul.

2. Jun 25, 2004

### fourier jr

edit: never mind, maybe you're right. Anyway, there's a theorem that says the only cyclic multiplicative groups are the ones with prime order, which solves this problem. I think it's "and" because you need to have an even multiple of 11 to get 0 (mod22), which has no inverse and also isn't even in the group.

Last edited: Jun 25, 2004
3. Jun 25, 2004

### Muzza

Well... Suppose that A is a subset of {1, 2, ..., 21} that contains at least one even number, and suppose that A forms a group (where the operation is multiplication modulo 22). Let 2k $$\in$$ A. 2k has to have an inverse, i.e a number x $$\in$$ A such that 2k * x = 1 (mod 22). But this is equivalent to saying that there exists a number y $$\in \mathbb{N}$$ such that 2kx - 1 = 22y. We see that 2 divides the right-hand side of the equation, but not the LHS, so we can never have equality (in the integers). Contradiction.

You can easily extend this argument to cover 11 as well.

This is basically a small special case of a more general theorem that says that only those numbers coprime to n, will have a multiplicative inverse modulo n (hope I phrased that correctly).

Last edited: Jun 25, 2004
4. Jun 25, 2004

### fourier jr

5. Jun 25, 2004

### AKG

But does 1 have to be the identity? For the numbers x = 1, 11, and 12, we have x*x = x(mod22). We might be able to form a very small group with some number other than 1 as its identity. I'm sure there's a reason why that's wrong though.

6. Jun 25, 2004

### Muzza

Damn, that's true. I simply figured that "1 is the identity" went without saying, but I guess it doesn't.

7. Jun 25, 2004

### matt grime

If as you say 12 satisfies 12*12=12 mod(22) then {12,*} is a group under multiplication. i think we are supposed to assume that 1 is the identity.

8. Jun 25, 2004

### matt grime

no there isn't, in fact there isn't one even remotely like it. there's a cyclic group of every order. the simple ones have prime order.

9. Jun 26, 2004

### fourier jr

lol maybe i should look these things up before posting. i was pretty sure i would make an ass of myself by responding in any way. maybe i was thinking of something to do with finite fields or something.

10. Jun 26, 2004

### matt grime

There is a finite field of order q iff q is a prime power.

11. Jun 26, 2004

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Also, abelian groups of prime order are necessarily cyclic.

12. Jun 26, 2004

### pdelong

But that isn't sufficient to make x an identity (is it?). Unless you're dealing with the degnerate case of a group consisting of one element.

13. Jun 26, 2004

### matt grime

There's nothing degenerate about a group with one element.

14. Jun 26, 2004

### AKG

No it's not sufficient. I didn't check that 11 and 12 worked for any other numbers, but I was only provoking a proof that 1 must be the identity, otherwise the problem is rather simple. And I believe the set {1,11} works. 11 has two inverses, but I don't know if inverses have to be unique.

15. Jun 26, 2004

### matt grime

identities must be unique, inverses must be unique, you've demonstrated that the one element set {11} with mult mod 22 is the trivial group, as is {12}

in your example {1,11} there are two identities by your reasoning, that is not allowed, identities must be unique.

16. Jun 26, 2004

### pdelong

But that isn't sufficient to make x an identity (is it?). Unless you're dealing with the degnerate case of a group consisting of one element.

17. Jun 26, 2004

### AKG

I was looking for something like this. At Mathworld.com, I don't see it explicitly stating that inverses and identites have to be unique, but I would naturally assume they are. At wikipedia.com, there is an article on group(mathematics) where some "Simple Theorems" are listed, including:
• A group has exactly one identity element.
• Every element has exactly one inverse.
But no proof for these. This seems like somthing that would arise more from definition than deduction, but if not, can you provide a proof or a link that has a proof?

18. Jun 26, 2004

### matt grime

Double posts? A group with one element is still a group it is not degenerate and is perfectly admissible.

19. Jun 26, 2004

### pdelong

Oh, whoops. I guess the network error didn't completely trash my first attempt.

I didn't think "degenerate" implied "inadmissible". In any case, I didn't mean to imply that a group of one element somehow isn't a group.

20. Jun 26, 2004

### matt grime

AKG's proof: Suppose e and f are identity elements in a group G, then e=ef since f is an identity, and f=ef since e is an identity hence e=f, now the proof for the uniqueness of inverses is left as an easy exercise, and an important one.