Unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)

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This article is about a family of groups with a parameter that is prime. For any fixed value of the prime, we get a particular group.
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Definition

Note that the case p = 2, where the group becomes dihedral group:D8, behaves somewhat differently from the general case. We note on the page all the places where the discussion does not apply to p = 2.

As a group of matrices

Given a prime p, the group UT(3,p) is defined as the unitriangular matrix group of degree three over the prime field \mathbb{F}_p. Explicitly, it has the following form with the usual matrix multiplication:

\left \{ \begin{pmatrix} 1 & a_{12} & a_{13} \\ 0 & 1 & a_{23} \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\\end{pmatrix} \mid a_{12},a_{13},a_{23} \in \mathbb{F}_p \right \}

The multiplication of matrices A = (a_{ij}) and B = (b_{ij}) gives the matrix C = (c_{ij}) where:

  • c_{12} = a_{12} + b_{12}
  • c_{13} = a_{13} + b_{13} + a_{12}b_{23}
  • c_{23} = a_{23} + b_{23}

The identity element is the identity matrix.

The inverse of a matrix A = (a_{ij}) is the matrix M = (m_{ij}) where:

  • m_{12} = -a_{12}
  • m_{13} = -a_{13} + a_{12}a_{23}
  • m_{23} = -a_{23}

Note that all addition and multiplication in these definitions is happening over the field \mathbb{F}_p.

In coordinate form

We may define the group as set of triples (a_{12},a_{13},a_{23}) over the prime field \mathbb{F}_p, with the multiplication law given by:

 (a_{12},a_{13},a_{23}) (b_{12},b_{13},b_{23}) = (a_{12} + b_{12},a_{13} + b_{13} + a_{12}b_{23}, a_{23} + b_{23}),

(a_{12},a_{13},a_{23})^{-1} = (-a_{12}, -a_{13} + a_{12}a_{23}, -a_{23}) .

The matrix corresponding to triple (a_{12},a_{13},a_{23}) is:

\begin{pmatrix}
 1 & a_{12} & a_{13}\\
 0 & 1 & a_{23}\\
 0 & 0 & 1\\
\end{pmatrix}

Definition by presentation

The group can be defined by means of the following presentation:

\langle x,y,z \mid [x,y] = z, xz = zx, yz = zy, x^p = y^p = z^p = 1 \rangle

where 1 denotes the identity element.

These commutation relation resembles Heisenberg's commuatation relations in quantum mechanics and so the group is sometimes called a finite Heisenberg group. Generators x,y,z correspond to matrices:

x=\begin{pmatrix}
 1 & 1 & 0\\
 0 & 1 & 0\\
 0 & 0 & 1\\
\end{pmatrix},\ \ y=\begin{pmatrix}
 1 & 0 & 0\\
 0 & 1 & 1\\
 0 & 0 & 1\\
\end{pmatrix},\ \ z=\begin{pmatrix}
 1 & 0 & 1\\
 0 & 1 & 0\\
 0 & 0 & 1\\
\end{pmatrix}

Note that in the above presentation, the generator z is redundant, and the presentation can thus be rewritten as a presentation with only two generators x and y.

As a semidirect product

This group of order p^3 can also be described as a semidirect product of the elementary abelian group of order p^2 by the cyclic group of order p, with the following action. Denote the base of the semidirect product as ordered pairs of elements from \mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}. The action of the generator of the acting group is as follows:

(\alpha,\beta) \mapsto (\alpha,\alpha+\beta)

In this case, for instance, we can take the subgroup with a_{12} = 0 as the elementary abelian subgroup of order p^2, i.e., the elementary abelian subgroup of order p^2 is the subgroup:

\left \{ \begin{pmatrix} 1 & 0 & a_{13} \\ 0 & 1 & a_{23} \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\\end{pmatrix} \mid a_{13}, a_{23} \in \mathbb{F}_p \right \}

The acting subgroup of order p can be taken as the subgroup with a_{13} = a_{23} = 0, i.e., the subgroup:

\left \{ \begin{pmatrix} 1 & a_{12} & 0 \\ 0 & 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\\end{pmatrix} \mid a_{12} \in \mathbb{F}_p \right \}

Families

  1. These groups fall in the more general family UT(n,p) of unitriangular matrix groups. The unitriangular matrix group UT(n,p) can be described as the group of unipotent upper-triangular matrices in GL(n,p), which is also a p-Sylow subgroup of the general linear group GL(n,p). This further can be generalized to UT(n,q) where q is the power of a prime p. UT(n,q) is the p-Sylow subgroup of GL(n,q).
  2. These groups also fall into the general family of extraspecial groups. For any number of the form p^{1 + 2m}, there are two extraspecial groups of that order: an extraspecial group of "+" type and an extraspecial group of "-" type. UT(3,p) is an extraspecial group of order p^3 and "+" type. The other type of extraspecial group of order p^3, i.e., the extraspecial group of order p^3 and "-" type, is semidirect product of cyclic group of prime-square order and cyclic group of prime order.

Elements

Further information: element structure of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)

Summary

Item Value
number of conjugacy classes p^2 + p - 1
order p^3
Agrees with general order formula for UT(n,q): q^{n(n-1)/2} = p^{(3)(2)/2} = p^3
conjugacy class size statistics size 1 (p times), size p (p^2 - 1 times)
orbits under automorphism group Case p = 2: size 1 (1 conjugacy class of size 1), size 1 (1 conjugacy class of size 1), size 2 (1 conjugacy class of size 2), size 4 (2 conjugacy classes of size 2 each)
Case odd p: size 1 (1 conjugacy class of size 1), size p - 1 (p - 1 conjugacy classes of size 1 each), size p^3 - p (p^2 - 1 conjugacy classes of size p each)
number of orbits under automorphism group 4 if p = 2
3 if p is odd
order statistics Case p = 2: order 1 (1 element), order 2 (5 elements), order 4 (2 elements)
Case p odd: order 1 (1 element), order p (p^3 - 1 elements)
exponent 4 if p = 2
p if p odd


Conjugacy class structure

Note that the characteristic polynomial of all elements in this group is (t - 1)^3, hence we do not devote a column to the characteristic polynomial.

For reference, we consider matrices of the form:

\begin{pmatrix} 1 & a_{12} & a_{13} \\ 0 & 1 & a_{23} \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\\end{pmatrix}

Nature of conjugacy class Jordan block size decomposition Minimal polynomial Size of conjugacy class Number of such conjugacy classes Total number of elements Order of elements in each such conjugacy class Type of matrix
identity element 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 t - 1 1 1 1 1 a_{12} = a_{13} = a_{23} = 0
non-identity element, but central (has Jordan blocks of size one and two respectively) 2 + 1 (t - 1)^2 1 p - 1 p - 1 p a_{12} = a_{23} = 0, a_{13} \ne 0
non-central, has Jordan blocks of size one and two respectively 2 + 1 (t - 1)^2 p 2(p - 1) 2p(p - 1) p a_{12}a_{23} = 0, but not both a_{12} and a_{23} are zero
non-central, has Jordan block of size three 3 (t - 1)^3 p (p - 1)^2 p(p - 1)^2 p if p odd
4 if p = 2
both a_{12} and a_{23} are nonzero
Total (--) -- -- -- p^2 + p - 1 p^3 -- --


Arithmetic functions

Compare and contrast arithmetic function values with other groups of prime-cube order at Groups of prime-cube order#Arithmetic functions

For some of these, the function values are different when p = 2 and/or when p = 3. These are clearly indicated below.

Arithmetic functions taking values between 0 and 3

Function Value Explanation
prime-base logarithm of order 3 the order is p^3
prime-base logarithm of exponent 1 the exponent is p^1. Exception when p = 2, where the exponent is 2^2 = 4.
nilpotency class 2
derived length 2
Frattini length 2
minimum size of generating set 2
subgroup rank 2
rank as p-group 2
normal rank as p-group 2
characteristic rank as p-group 1

Arithmetic functions of a counting nature

Function Value Explanation
number of conjugacy classes \! p^2 + p - 1 p elements in the center, and each other conjugacy class has size p
number of subgroups \! p^2 + 2p + 4 when p \ne 2, 10 when p = 2 See subgroup structure of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)
number of normal subgroups \! p + 4 See subgroup structure of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)
number of conjugacy classes of subgroups \! 2p + 5 for p \ne 2, 8 for p = 2 See subgroup structure of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)

Subgroups

Further information: Subgroup structure of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)

Note that the analysis here specifically does not apply to the case p = 2. For p = 2, see subgroup structure of dihedral group:D8.


Table classifying subgroups up to automorphisms

Automorphism class of subgroups Representative Isomorphism class Order of subgroups Index of subgroups Number of conjugacy classes Size of each conjugacy class Number of subgroups Isomorphism class of quotient (if exists) Subnormal depth (if subnormal)
trivial subgroup \left \{ \begin{pmatrix} 1 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\\end{pmatrix}\right \} trivial group 1 p^3 1 1 1 prime-cube order group:U(3,p) 1
center of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p) \langle \begin{pmatrix} 1 & 0 & 1 \\ 0 & 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\\end{pmatrix}\rangle ; equivalently, given by a_{12} = a_{23} = 0. group of prime order p p^2 1 1 1 elementary abelian group of prime-square order 1
non-central subgroups of prime order in unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p) Subgroup generated by any element with at least one of the entries a_{12}, a_{23} nonzero group of prime order p p^2 p + 1 p p(p + 1) -- 2
elementary abelian subgroups of prime-square order in unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p) join of center and any non-central subgroup of prime order elementary abelian group of prime-square order p^2 p p + 1 1 p + 1 group of prime order 1
whole group all elements unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p) p^3 1 1 1 1 trivial group 0
Total (5 rows) -- -- -- -- 2p + 5 -- p^2 + 2p + 4 -- --

Tables classifying isomorphism types of subgroups

Group name GAP ID Occurrences as subgroup Conjugacy classes of occurrence as subgroup Occurrences as normal subgroup Occurrences as characteristic subgroup
Trivial group (1,1) 1 1 1 1
Group of prime order (p,1) p^2 + p + 1 p + 2 1 1
Elementary abelian group of prime-square order (p^2,2) p + 1 p + 1 p + 1 0
Prime-cube order group:U3p (p^3,3) 1 1 1 1
Total -- p^2 + 2p + 4 2p + 5 p + 4 3

Table listing number of subgroups by order

Group order Occurrences as subgroup Conjugacy classes of occurrence as subgroup Occurrences as normal subgroup Occurrences as characteristic subgroup
1 1 1 1 1
p p^2 + p + 1 p + 2 1 1
p^2 p + 1 p + 1 p + 1 0
p^3 1 1 1 1
Total p^2 + 2p + 4 2p + 5 p + 4 3


Linear representation theory

Further information: linear representation theory of unitriangular matrix group:UT(3,p)


Item Value
number of conjugacy classes (equals number of irreducible representations over a splitting field) p^2 + p - 1. See number of irreducible representations equals number of conjugacy classes, element structure of unitriangular matrix group of degree three over a finite field
degrees of irreducible representations over a splitting field (such as \overline{\mathbb{Q}} or \mathbb{C}) 1 (occurs p^2 times), p (occurs p - 1 times)
sum of squares of degrees of irreducible representations p^3 (equals order of the group)
see sum of squares of degrees of irreducible representations equals order of group
lcm of degrees of irreducible representations p
condition for a field (characteristic not equal to p) to be a splitting field The polynomial x^p - 1 should split completely.
For a finite field of size q, this is equivalent to q \equiv 1 \pmod p.
field generated by character values, which in this case also coincides with the unique minimal splitting field (characteristic zero) Field \mathbb{Q}(\zeta) where \zeta is a primitive p^{th} root of unity. This is a degree p - 1 extension of the rationals.
unique minimal splitting field (characteristic c \ne 0,p) The field of size c^r where r is the order of c mod p.
degrees of irreducible representations over the rational numbers 1 (1 time), p - 1 (p + 1 times), p(p - 1) (1 time)
Orbits over a splitting field under the action of the automorphism group Case p = 2: Orbit sizes: 1 (degree 1 representation), 1 (degree 1 representation), 2 (degree 1 representations), 1 (degree 2 representation)
Case odd p: Orbit sizes: 1 (degree 1 representation), p^2 - 1 (degree 1 representations), p - 1 (degree p representations)
number: 4 (for p = 2), 3 (for odd p)
Orbits over a splitting field under the multiplicative action of one-dimensional representations Orbit sizes: p^2 (degree 1 representations), and p - 1 orbits of size 1 (degree p representations)


Endomorphisms

Automorphisms

The automorphisms essentially permute the subgroups of order p^2 containing the center, while leaving the center itself unmoved.

GAP implementation

GAP ID

For any prime p, this group is the third group among the groups of order p^3. Thus, for instance, if p = 7, the group is described using GAP's SmallGroup function as:

SmallGroup(343,3)

Note that we don't need to compute p^3; we can also write this as:

SmallGroup(7^3,3)

As an extraspecial group

For any prime p, we can define this group using GAP's ExtraspecialGroup function as:

ExtraspecialGroup(p^3,'+')

For p \ne 2, it can also be constructed as:

ExtraspecialGroup(p^3,p)

where the argument p indicates that it is the extraspecial group of exponent p. For instance, for p = 5:

ExtraspecialGroup(5^3,5)

Other descriptions

Description Functions used
SylowSubgroup(GL(3,p),p) SylowSubgroup, GL
SylowSubgroup(SL(3,p),p) SylowSubgroup, SL
SylowSubgroup(PGL(3,p),p) SylowSubgroup, PGL
SylowSubgroup(PSL(3,p),p) SylowSubgroup, PSL


External links