Degree of irreducible representation divides order of group

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This article gives the statement, and possibly proof, of a constraint on numerical invariants that can be associated with a finite group

This article states a result of the form that one natural number divides another. Specifically, the (degree of a linear representation) of a/an/the (irreducible linear representation) divides the (order) of a/an/the (group).
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Let G be a finite group and \rho an irreducible representation of G over an algebraically closed field of characteristic zero. Then, the degree of \rho divides the order of G.

Related facts

Other facts about degrees of irreducible representations

Further information: Degrees of irreducible representations

Breakdown for a field that is not algebraically closed

Let G be the cyclic group of order three and \R be the field. Then, there are two irreducible representations of G over \R: the trivial representation, and a two-dimensional representation given by the action by rotation by multiples of 2\pi/3. The two-dimensional representation has degree 2, and this does not divide the order of the group, which is 3.

We still have the following results:


Introduction of some algebraic integers

Further information: Convolution algebra on conjugacy classes

Using the convolution algebra on conjugacy classes, we can show that for any representation \rho with character \chi, and any conjugacy class c, the number:

\omega(c,\rho) = \frac{|c|\chi(c)}{\chi(1)}

are algebraic integers. Note that \chi(1) is the degree of \rho.

A little formula

We know that if \rho is irreducible:

\sum_c |c| \chi(c) \overline{\chi(c)} = |G|

by the orthonormality of the irreducible characters.

Dividing by \chi(1), we get:

\sum_c \omega(c,\rho) \overline{\chi(c)} = |G|/\chi(1)

Note that since the characters are algebraic integers and so are the values taken by \omega, the overall left-hand side is an algebraic integer. Thus |G|/\chi(1) is an algebraic integer.

But since it is a rational number, it must be a rational integer, or in other words, the degree of \rho divides the order of G.