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Math 113 Homework 2 Solutions

due July 5, 2011

1. Prove that the additive group R + of real numbers is isomorphic to the multiplicative group P of positive reals.

Solution: Consider the function φ : R + P given by φ(x) = e x . φ is

a bijection, as it has an inverse φ 1 : P R + given by φ 1 (x) = ln(x).

Further, for all a, b R we have φ(a + b) = e a+b = e a e b = φ(a)φ(b), so φ


a homomorphism. Hence φ is an isomorphism and R + P.


2. Prove that the matrices A := 1


B :=



1 1


are conjugate elements in the group GL 2 (R), but that they are not con- jugate when regarded as elements of SL 2 (R).

Solution: Consider the permutation matrix P =

P AP 1 = B. Further, det(P ) = 1, so P GL 2 (R); this shows that A and B are conjugate as elements of GL 2 (R).

1 . Observe that


Now suppose they were conjugate by some element Q SL 2 (R), say

QAQ 1 = B, where Q =

d b . Then



QA =



a + b


c +

= BQ =

a a + c

b b + d

Therefore a

SL 2 (R). So A and B are not conjugate as elements of SL 2 (R).


0 and




so det(Q) = b 2

< 0, contradicting Q

3. Prove that the set Aut(G) of automorphisms of a group G forms a group, the law of composition being composition of functions.

Solution: The automorphisms form a subset of the permutations of the underlying set of G. Function composition is always associative, bijections are invertible (with inverse map also a bijection), and a composition of bijections is a bijection, so the permutations of the underlying set of G form a group. We must show that Aut(G) is a subgroup.


The identity map is clearly an automorphism.

If φ Aut(G), then for all a, b G we have

φ(φ 1 (ab)) = ab = φ(φ 1 (a))φ(φ 1 (b)) = φ(φ 1 (a)φ 1 (b))

as φ is a homomorphism; applying φ 1 to both sides we see that φ 1 is likewise a homomorphism, hence an automorphism.

Finally if φ, ψ Aut(G), then for all a, b G, we have

φ(ψ(ab)) = φ (ψ(a)ψ(b)) = φ(ψ(a))φ(ψ(b))

so a composition of automorphisms is an automorphism, and we are done.

4. Determine the group of automorphisms of the following groups.

(a) Z +



Solution: Homomorphisms φ with cyclic domain are determined by the image of a generator x, since then φ(x n ) = φ(x) n ; if the domain is Z + , 1 may go to any element of the codomain, so the set of homo- morphisms φ : Z + Z + (called the endomorphisms of Z + ) is just the collection of maps given by multiplication by an element of Z. Of these, only 1 and 1 (i.e. the maps φ(x) = x, φ(x) = x) are bijections. Hence the group of automorphisms is {1, 1} × Z/2Z.

More simply, a map of cyclic groups is a surjection iff the image of a generator is a generator; Z has two generators {1, 1}, which may be transposed or not.

a cyclic group of order 10 Solution: Again, representing the group operation as addition mod- ulo 10, endomorphisms of this group are given by multiplication by some integer modulo 10. The only ones that are bijections are those

taking 1 to a generator, corresponding to multiplication by an integer relatively prime to 10, namely 1, 3, 7, or 9. Thus |Aut(Z/10Z)| = 4. Let φ Aut(Z/10Z) be the map given by ’multiplication by 3 modulo

10’. As 3 2 = 9

to 4, in Aut(Z/10Z), showing that Aut(Z/10Z) Z/4Z is generated

by φ.

S 3 Solution: Given any group G, there is a homomorphism ψ G : G Aut(G) taking an element a G to the automorphism of G given by conjugation by a. Observe that an element a G is in the kernel of this homomorphism iff conjugation by a is the identity map, that is, aga 1 = g for every g G, that is, a Z(G). Since Z(S 3 ) is trivial, ψ S 3 : S 3 Aut(S 3 ) is injective. This shows that |Aut(S 3 )| ≥ 6. On the other hand, S 3 can be generated by the transpositions. Since an automorphism preserves orders of elements, every automorphism of S 3 must permute the 3 transpositions of S 3 . Since a homomorphism is determined by its restriction to any set generating the domain, this implies there are at most 3! = 6 automorphisms of S 3 . Hence there are exactly 6 and the above map ψ S 3 is an isomorphism, that is, Aut(S 3 ) S 3 .

= 1 modulo 10, φ has order larger than 2, hence equal





5. Prove that the kernel and image of a homomorphism are subgroups.

Solution: Let φ : G H be a group homomorphism.

φ(1) = φ(1 · 1) = φ(1)φ(1)

so φ(1) = 1. This shows both that 1 ker(φ) and that 1 im(φ).

Further, for all a in G we have that 1 = φ(1) = φ(aa 1 ) = φ(a)φ(a 1 ); multiplying on the left by φ(a) 1 we obtain φ(a 1 ) = φ(a) 1 . This shows that if a ker(φ) then a 1 ker(φ), and that if a im(φ) then a 1 im(φ).

Finally, if a, b ker(φ) then φ(ab) = φ(a)φ(b) = 1, so ker(φ) is closed and hence a subgroup of G. Likewise, for any φ(a), φ(b) im(φ), φ(a)φ(b) = φ(ab) shows that im(φ) is closed and hence a subgroup of H.

6. Describe all homomorphisms φ : Z + Z + , and determine which are injective, which are surjective, and which are isomorphisms.

Solution: As described in (4a), such a map φ is determined by the image of 1, since it must be that φ(n) = (1), and all of these are distinct. So the maps are just multiplication by n for each n Z. These are injective unless n = 0, but only surjective in the cases n = 1 or n = 1, which are thus also the bijective cases.


7. Let H be a subgroup of G, and let g G. The conjugate subgroup gHg 1 is defined to be the set of all conjugates ghg 1 , where h H. Prove that gHg 1 is a subgroup of G.


Solution: Let ghg 1 gHg 1


where h


then (ghg 1 ) 1



1 g 1 is a conjugate of h 1 H by g 1 , and so is also in gHg 1 .

Also if gh 1 g 1 and gh 2 g 1 are any two elements of gHg 1 , then


1 g 1 gh 2 g 1 = g(h 1 h 2 )g 1

gHg 1 . Finally, 1 = g1g 1 gHg 1 ,

so gHg 1 is nonempty and thus a subgroup.



Prove that a subgroup H of a group G is normal if and only if gHg 1 =

H for all g G.

Solution: If this equation holds, then for any h H , g G we

normal in G. Conversely, if H is

normal, then for any g G, if x gHg 1 , there exists h H such that x = ghg 1 = h, so in fact gHg 1 = H.

have ghg 1 gHg 1 = H, so H is

8. Prove that the center of a group is a normal subgroup.

Solution: If G is a group, then for all a Z (G), g G we have

gag 1 = agg 1 = a Z(G)

Therefore Z(G) is normal in G.

9. Prove that if a group contains exactly one element of order 2, then that element is in the center of the group.

Solution: Let a be the unique element of order 2 in a group G. Then as conjugation preserves order (by the last homework), for every g G a g = gag 1 also has order 2, and hence a g = a. This means that ga = ag for every g G, i.e. that a Z(G).


10. Let φ : G G be a surjective homomorphism, and let N be a normal subgroup of G. Prove that φ(N ) is a normal subgroup of G .

Solution: Let n φ(N ) and g G . There exist n N and g G such that φ(n) = n and φ(g) = g . Then

g n (g ) 1 = φ(g)φ(n)φ(n) 1 = φ(gng 1 ) φ(N)

since gng 1 N by normality of N . Thus φ(N ) is a normal subgroup of

G .

11. Let G be a group. Prove that the inversion function φ : G G given by φ(x) = x 1 is a homomorphism iff G is abelian.

Solution: Observe that for all a, b G, we have φ(ab) = φ(b)φ(a). Now, if φ is a homomorphism, then for every a, b G we have

ab = φ(a 1 )φ(b 1 ) = φ(a 1 b 1 ) = φ((ba) 1 ) = ba

and therefore G is abelian. Conversely, if G is abelian, for every a, b G we have

φ(ab) = (ab) 1 = b 1 a 1 = a 1 b 1 = φ(a)φ(b)

so φ is a homomorphism.

12. Prove that the nonempty fibres of a map form a partition of the domain.

For each a A, a f 1 [f (a)],


so every element of the domain is in some nonempty fibre of f . Further,

if a f 1 (b), then b = f (a), so each element of the domain is in a unique nonempty fibre of f . Hence the nonempty fibres of f form a partition of

A as desired.

Let f : A B be a function.


13. Prove that the relation x conjugate to y in a group G is an equivalence relation on G. Solution: Reflexivity: for every x G, x = x 1 , so x x.



if x y there exists some g G such that x g = y, but

then x = y g 1 , so y x.


if x = y g and y = z h , then x = z hg , so x y and y z

implies x z.


Describe the elements a whose conjugacy class (= equivalence class) consists of the the element a alone. Solution: An element a is of this type precisely when gag 1 = a for all g G, that is, when a Z(G).

14. Prove directly that distinct cosets do not overlap.

Solution: Let H be a subgroup of a group G, let a, b G, and let


Multiplying on the left by h 1 , we obtain a = bh 2 h 1 . Then for any

bh 2 .

aH bH.

Then there are h 1 , h 2



such that ah 1





aH, there exists some h 3 H such that y = ah 3 = bh 2 h 1 h 3 bH, so aH bH. By symmetry, bH aH, so aH = bH. Therefore, overlapping



cosets are identical, i.e. distinct cosets do not overlap.


15. Let H, K be subgroups of a group G of orders 3, 5 respectively. Prove that H K = {1}.

Solution: An intersection of subgroups is again a subgroup; this follows because for all a, b H K, ab 1 H and ab 1 K, so ab 1 H K, and further 1 H K. Thus H K is a subgroup both of H and of K. By Lagrange’s theorem |H K| divides |H| = 3, and |H K| divides |K| = 5, so |H K| = 1; therefore, H K = {1}.

Note that this argument immediately generalizes to show that any family of subgroups such that the greatest common divisor of their orders is 1 has trivial intersection.


16. Prove that every subgroup of index 2 is normal. Solution: Let H be a subgroup of index 2 in a group G. Then the left cosets of H in G must consist of H, and G\H. These must also be the right cosets of H in G by the same argument. Therefore, the left and right cosets of H coincide, i.e. gH = Hg for all g G. This is equivalent to gHg 1 = H for all g G, which by (6b) is equivalent to normality of H.


Give an example of a subgroup of index 3 which is not normal. Solution: Consider (12) S 3 . It is an index 3 subgroup, but is not normal as, for instance, (12) (23) = (13) / (12) .