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Section 1 – Introduction and Examples

Instructor: Yifan Yang

Fall 2006

Unit circle and R2π

Algebra on the unit circle
Addition on R2π
Isomorphism between R2π and U

Roots of unity and Zn

Roots of unity
Isomorphism between Zn and Un
Algebra on the unit circle

Let U = {z ∈ C : |z| = 1}. Observe that if z1 , z2 ∈ U, then

|z1 z2 | = |z1 ||z2 | = 1. Thus, the product of two elements of
U is again in U. We say that U is closed under
Now recall that every element z in C can be written as z = eiθ
for some θ ∈ R. For a given z ∈ U, the quantity θ with
z = eiθ is not uniquely determined. In fact, we have

e =e iθ+2nπi for all n ∈ Z. That is, under the mapping
θ 7→ eiθ , the point θ looks just like θ + 2nπ. In mathematics,
we describe the above observation in terms of equivalence
The set R2π of equivalence classes

Define an equivalence relation ∼2π on R by

a ∼2π b ⇔ a − b = 2nπ for some integer n.

Let R2π denote the set of all equivalence classes. We can

define addition +2π on R2π by

θ̄1 +2π θ̄2 = θ1 + θ2 ,

where the + on the right is the usual addition on R. That is,

to find the sum of two equivalence classes, we pick one
element θ1 from the first equivalence class, pick another
element θ2 from the second equivalence class, and then
designate the sum of the two equivalence classes to be the
class containing θ1 + θ2 .
Addition on R2π

Is the addition +2π well-defined? That is, if we pick
elements from equivalence classes in two different ways, will
we get the same result? To be more precise, let θ1 and θ10
be two elements in the first equivalence class, θ2 and θ20 be
two elements in the second class. Will

θ1 + θ2 = θ10 + θ20 ?
We have

θ1 ∼ θ10 ⇔ θ1 − θ10 = 2mπ for some integer m,


θ2 ∼ θ20 ⇔ θ2 − θ20 = 2nπ for some integer n,

It follows that

(θ1 + θ2 ) − (θ10 + θ20 ) = 2(m + n)π.

θ1 + θ2 = θ10 + θ20 ,
and +2π is well-defined.
Isomorphism between R2π and U

Define a map φ : R2π 7→ U by

φ(θ̄) = eiθ .

This is well-defined since every element in an equivalence

class takes the same value of eiθ . We claim φ have the
following properties.
1. The map φ is one-to-one.
2. The map φ is onto.
3. The map φ satisfies φ(θ̄1 +2π θ̄2 ) = φ(θ̄1 ) · φ(θ̄2 ).
Isomorphism between R2π and U

Properties 1 and 2 state that R2π and U have the same
cardinality. Property 3 states that the set R2π with operation
+2π and the set U with multiplication · have the same algebraic
structure. In mathematics, we say (R2π , +2π ) and (U, ·) are
isomorphic and φ is an isomorphism.
Isomorphic algebraic structures share many common algebraic
properties. In the above example, (R2π , +2π ) has an element
0̄ such that 0̄ + θ̄ = θ̄ for all θ̄ ∈ R2π . The corresponding
element in U is 1, which satisfies 1 · z = z for all z ∈ U.
Isomorphism between R2π and U

Proof of Claim 1.
If φ(θ̄1 ) = φ(θ̄2 ), then eiθ1 = eiθ2 . This happens only when
θ1 − θ2 = 2nπ for some integer n. Therefore, θ1 ∼2π θ2 and
θ̄1 = θ̄2 .

Proof of Claim 2.
For all z ∈ U, choose θ = Im log z. Then φ(θ̄) = z.

Proof of Claim 3.
It follows immediately from ei(θ1 +θ2 ) = eiθ1 · eiθ2 .
Roots of unity

A complex number z satisfying z n = 1 is called an nth root of
unity. We denote by Un the set of all nth roots of unity.

Properties of Un
1. Let ζ = e2πi/n . Then Un = {1 = ζ 0 , ζ 1 , . . . , ζ n−1 }.
2. The set Un is closed under multiplication.
3. The value of ζ k depends only on the residue class of k
modulo n. (That is, if k and m are in the same residue
class modulo n, then ζ k = ζ m .)
Isomorphism between Zn and Un

The last property shows that the map φ : Zn 7→ Un defined by

φ(k̄ ) = ζ k

is well-defined. In fact, we have

The function φ : Zn 7→ Un is an isomorphism between (Zn , +n )
and (Un , ·). That is,
1. φ is one-to-one,
2. φ is onto,
3. φ(k̄ +n m̄) = φ(k̄ ) · φ(m̄).

Similar to that of R2π and U.

For a given n, there may be more than one isomorphisms
between Zn and Un . For instance, for n = 8 and a = 1, 3, 5, 7,
the functions φa : Z8 7→ U8 defined by φa (k̄ ) = ζ ak are all
In-class exercise

Let ζ = e2πi/8 be an 8th root of unity.

1. Prove that for a = 3, the function φ3 : Z8 7→ U8 defined by
φ3 (k̄ ) = ζ 3k is one-to-one, onto, and satisfies
φ3 (k̄ + m̄) = φ3 (k̄ ) · φ3 (m̄).
2. Prove that for a = 2, the function φ2 : Z8 7→ U8 defined by
φ2 (k̄ ) = ζ 2k is not one-to-one nor onto.

Do Problems 16, 18, 30, 32, 34, 36, 37 of Section 1.
Note that our definition of R2π is different from that given in the
textbook. You should answer the problems using our definition.