Dihedral group
WARNING: POTENTIAL TERMINOLOGICAL CONFUSION: Please don't confuse this with dicyclic group (also called binary dihedral group)
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This is a family of groups parametrized by the natural numbers, viz, for each natural number, there is a unique group (upto isomorphism) in the family corresponding to the natural number. The natural number is termed the parameter for the group family
Contents
Definition
The dihedral group of degree and order , denoted sometimes as sometimes as (this wiki uses ), sometimes as , and sometimes as , is defined in the following equivalent ways:
- It has the presentation (here, denotes the identity element):
- (For ): It is the group of symmetries of a regular -gon in the plane, viz., the plane isometries that preserves the set of points of the regular -gon.
The dihedral groups arise as a special case of a family of groups called von Dyck groups. They also arise as a special case of a family of groups called Coxeter groups.
Note that for and , the geometric description of the dihedral group does not make sense. In these cases, we use the algebraic description.
The infinite dihedral group, which is the case of the dihedral group and is denoted and is defined as:
.
Related notions
Generalizations
- Generalized dihedral group: This is a semidirect product of an abelian group by a cyclic group of order two acting via the inverse map.
- q-hedral group
- Coxeter group: Dihedral groups are Coxeter groups with two generators.
Particular cases
For small values
Note that all dihedral groups are metacyclic and hence supersolvable. A dihedral group is nilpotent if and only if it is of order for some . It is abelian only if it has order or .
Order of group | Degree (size of regular polygon it acts on) | Common name for the group | Comment |
---|---|---|---|
2 | 1 | Cyclic group:Z2 | Not usually considered a dihedral group. |
4 | 2 | Klein four-group | elementary abelian group that is not cyclic |
6 | 3 | symmetric group:S3 | metacyclic, hence supersolvable but not nilpotent |
8 | 4 | dihedral group:D8 | nilpotent but not abelian |
10 | 5 | dihedral group:D10 | metacyclic, hence supersolvable but not nilpotent |
12 | 6 | dihedral group:D12 | direct product of the dihedral group of order six and the cyclic group of order two. |
16 | 8 | dihedral group:D16 | nilpotent but not abelian |
Arithmetic functions
here denotes the degree, or half the order, of the dihedral group, which we denote as .
Function | Value | Explanation |
---|---|---|
order | Cyclic subgroup of order , quotient of order . | |
exponent | Exponent of cyclic subgroup is , elements outside have order . | |
derived length | for , for | |
nilpotency class | when , none otherwise | Nilpotent only if is a power of . |
max-length | 1 + sum of exponents of prime divisors of | The dihedral groups are solvable. |
composition length | 1 + sum of exponents of prime divisors of | The dihedral groups are solvable. |
number of subgroups | is the divisor sum function and is the divisor count function. | |
number of conjugacy classes | if is odd, if is even. | |
number of conjugacy classes of subgroups | where is the largest odd divisor of | subgroups inside the cyclic part. For odd divisors, one external conjugacy class of subgroups per divisor; for even divisors, one external conjugacy class per divisor. |
Group properties
Property | Satisfied? | Explanation |
---|---|---|
Abelian group | no for | For , the elements do not commute. |
Nilpotent group | yes for a power of , no otherwise | |
Metacyclic group | yes | |
Supersolvable group | yes | |
Solvable group | yes | |
T-group | yes for odd or twice an odd number, no for a multiple of | |
Rational group | yes for , no for | |
Rational-representation group | yes for , no for | |
Ambivalent group | yes | Elements in the cyclic subgroup are conjugate via , elements outside have order two. |
Elements
Further information: element structure of dihedral groups
Summary
Item | Value |
---|---|
order | |
conjugacy class sizes | Case odd: 1 (1 time), 2 ( times), (1 time) Case even: 1 (2 times), 2 ( times), (2 times) |
number of conjugacy classes | if odd, if even |
number of orbits under automorphism group | where is the divisor count function if , 2 if |
order statistics | Case odd: of order for , of order 2 |
Conjugacy class structure
Nature of conjugacy class | Size of each conjugacy class | Number of such conjugacy classes | Total number of elements |
---|---|---|---|
Identity element | 1 | 1 | 1 |
Non-identity elements in cyclic subgroup , where each element and its inverse form a conjugacy class | 2 | ||
Elements outside the cyclic subgroup , all form a single conjugacy class | 1 | ||
Total | -- | (number of conjugacy classes) | (order of group) |
Subgroups
Further information: Subgroup structure of dihedral groups
There are two kinds of subgroups:
- Subgroups of the form , where . The number of such subgroups equals the number of positive divisors of , sometimes denoted . The subgroup generated by is a cyclic group of order .
- Subgroups of the form , where and . The number of such subgroups equals the sum of all positive divisors of , sometimes denoted . The subgroup of the above form is a dihedral group of order .
In particular, all subgroups of the dihedral group are either cyclic or dihedral.
Also note that the dihedral group has subgroups of all orders dividing its order. This is true more generally for all finite supersolvable groups. Further information: Finite supersolvable implies subgroups of all orders dividing the group order
Linear representation theory
Further information: linear representation theory of dihedral groups
Item | Value |
---|---|
degrees of irreducible representations over a splitting field | Case odd: 1 (2 times), 2 ( times) Case even: 1 (4 times), 2 ( times) maximum: 2 (if ), lcm: 2 (if ), number: for odd, for even, sum of squares: |
Schur index values of irreducible representations over a splitting field | 1 (all of them) |
condition for a field to be a splitting field | First, the field should have characteristic not equal to 2 or any prime divisor of . Also, take the cyclotomic polynomial . Let be a root of the polynomial. Then, the field should contain the element , i.e., the minimal polynomial for should split completely. |
smallest ring of realization (characteristic zero) | |
smallest field of realization (characteristic zero) | . Note that a degree two extension of this gives the cyclotomic extension of for primitive roots of unity. The given field can be thought of as the intersection of the cyclotomic extension and the real numbers. |
smallest size splitting field | unclear. Definitely, for a field of odd size , dividing is sufficient, but not necessary. |
degrees of irreducible representations over rational numbers | PLACEHOLDER FOR INFORMATION TO BE FILLED IN: [SHOW MORE] |
Supergroups
Groups having the dihedral group as quotient
The dicyclic group, also called the binary dihedral group, of order , has the dihedral group of order as a quotient -- in fact the quotient by its center, which is a cyclic subgroup of order two. the presentation for the dicyclic group is given by:
.
Dicyclic groups whose order is a power of are termed generalized quaternion groups.
Internal links
- Element structure of dihedral groups
- Subgroup structure of dihedral groups
- Linear representation theory of dihedral groups
- Group cohomology of dihedral groups
References
Textbook references
- Abstract Algebra by David S. Dummit and Richard M. Foote, 10-digit ISBN 0471433349, 13-digit ISBN 978-0471433347^{More info}, Page 23-27, Section 1.2 Dihedral Groups (the entire section discusses dihedral groups from a number of perspectives)
- Groups and representations by Jonathan Lazare Alperin and Rowen B. Bell, ISBN 0387945261, ^{More info}, Page 24 (definition introduced in paragraph)
- Algebra by Serge Lang, ISBN 038795385X, ^{More info}, Page 78, Exercise 34 (a) (definition introduced in exercise)
- Topics in Algebra by I. N. Herstein, ^{More info}, Page 54, Problem 17
- A Course in the Theory of Groups by Derek J. S. Robinson, ISBN 0387944613, ^{More info}, Page 6 (definition introduced informally, in paragraph, using the geometric perspective)
- An Introduction to Abstract Algebra by Derek J. S. Robinson, ISBN 3110175444, ^{More info}, Page 42, under The symmetry group of the regular n-gon
- Algebra (Graduate Texts in Mathematics) by Thomas W. Hungerford, ISBN 0387905189, ^{More info}, Page 50 (definition introduced as a subgroup of the symmetric group)