# Element structure of alternating group:A4

This article gives specific information, namely, element structure, about a particular group, namely: alternating group:A4.

View element structure of particular groups | View other specific information about alternating group:A4

This article gives information on the element structure of alternating group:A4.

See also element structure of alternating groups and element structure of symmetric group:S4.

## Summary

Item | Value |
---|---|

order of the whole group (total number of elements) | 12 (see order computation for more) |

conjugacy class sizes | 1,3,4,4 maximum: 4, number: 4, sum (equals order of whole group): 12, lcm: 12 See conjugacy class structure for more. |

number of conjugacy classes | 4 See number of conjugacy classes for more. |

order statistics | 1 of order 1, 3 of order 2, 8 of order 3 maximum: 3, lcm (exponent of the whole group): 6 |

The multiplication table (to be completed) is:

[SHOW MORE]## Family contexts

Family name | Parameter values | General discussion of element structure of family |
---|---|---|

alternating group | degree | element structure of alternating groups |

projective special linear group of degree two over a finite field | field:F3, i.e., the group is | element structure of projective special linear group of degree two over a finite field |

general affine group of degree one over a finite field | field:F4, i.e., the group is | element structure of general affine group of degree one over a finite field |

von Dyck group | parameters (3,3,2) | element structure of von Dyck groups |

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: View element structure of groups of order 12 to compare and contrast the element structure with other groups of order 12.

## Elements

### Multiple ways of describing permutations

Cycle decomposition notation | One-line notation, i.e., image of string | Matrix (left action) |
---|---|---|

1234 | ||

1342 | ||

1423 | ||

2143 | ||

2314 | ||

2431 | ||

3124 | ||

3241 | ||

3412 | ||

4132 | ||

4213 | ||

4321 |

### Order computation

The alternating group of degree four has order 12, with prime factorization . Below are listed various methods that can be used to compute the order, all of which should give the answer 12:

## Conjugacy class structure

FACTS TO CHECK AGAINST FOR CONJUGACY CLASS SIZES AND STRUCTURE:Divisibility facts: size of conjugacy class divides order of group | size of conjugacy class divides index of center | size of conjugacy class equals index of centralizerBounding facts: size of conjugacy class is bounded by order of derived subgroupCounting facts: number of conjugacy classes equals number of irreducible representations | class equation of a group

### Interpretation as alternating group

FACTS TO CHECK AGAINST SPECIFICALLY FOR SYMMETRIC GROUPS AND ALTERNATING GROUPS:

Please read element structure of symmetric groups for a summary description.Conjugacy class parametrization: cycle type determines conjugacy class (in symmetric group)Conjugacy class sizes: conjugacy class size formula in symmetric groupOther facts: even permutation (definition) -- the alternating group is the set of even permutations | splitting criterion for conjugacy classes in the alternating group (from symmetric group)| criterion for element of alternating group to be real

For a symmetric group, cycle type determines conjugacy class. The statement is *almost* true for the alternating group, except for the fact that some conjugacy classes of even permutations in the symmetric group split into two in the alternating group, as per the splitting criterion for conjugacy classes in the alternating group, which says that a conjugacy class of even permutations splits in the alternating group if and only if its cycle decomposition comprises odd cycles of distinct length.

Here are the unsplit conjugacy classes:

Partition | Verbal description of cycle type | Elements with the cycle type | Size of conjugacy class | Formula for size | Element order |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 + 1 + 1 + 1 | four cycles of size one each, i.e., four fixed points | -- the identity element | 1 | 1 | |

2 + 2 | double transposition: two cycles of size two | , , | 3 | 2 | |

Total | -- | , , and | 4 | NA | NA |

In this case, the union of the unsplit conjugacy classes is a proper normal subgroup isomorphic to the Klein four-group. Note that this phenomenon is unique to the case .

Here is the split conjugacy class:

Partition | Verbal description of cycle type | Elements with the cycle type | Combined size of conjugacy classes | Formula for combined size | Size of each half | First split half | Second split half | Real? | Rational? | Element order |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

3 + 1 | one 3-cycle, one fixed point | , , , , , , , | 8 | 4 | , , , | , , , | No | No | 3 |

### Interpretation as projective special linear group of degree two

Compare with element structure of projective special linear group of degree two over a finite field#Conjugacy class structure

We consider the group as , . We use the letter to denote the generic case of .

Nature of conjugacy class upstairs in | Eigenvalues | Characteristic polynomial | Minimal polynomial | Size of conjugacy class (generic that is 3 mod 4) | Size of conjugacy class () | Number of such conjugacy classes (generic that is 3 mod 4) | Number of such conjugacy classes () | Total number of elements (generic that is 3 mod 4) | Total number of elements () | Representatives as permutations |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Diagonalizable over with equal diagonal entries, hence a scalar | or , both correspond to the same element | where | where | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | |

Diagonalizable over , not over , eigenvalues square roots of | Square roots of | 3 | 1 | 1 | 3 | |||||

Not diagonal, has Jordan block of size two | (multiplicity 2) or (multiplicity 2). Each conjugacy class has one representative of each type. | where | where | 4 | 2 | 2 | 8 | and | ||

Diagonalizable over , not over . Must necessarily have no repeated eigenvalues. Eigenvalues not square roots of . | Pair of conjugate elements of of norm 1, not square roots of -1. Each pair identified with its negative pair. | , irreducible; note that 's pair and 's pair get identified. | Same as characteristic polynomial | 6 | 0 | 0 | -- | |||

Diagonalizable over with distinct (and hence mutually inverse) diagonal entries |
where where are square roots of . Note that the representative pairs and get identified. | , again with identification. | , again with identification. | 12 | 0 | 0 | -- | |||

Total | NA | NA | NA | NA | NA | 4 | 12 | NA |

### Interpretation as general affine group of degree one

Compare with element structure of general affine group of degree one over a finite field#Conjugacy class structure

The alternating group of degree four is isomorphic to the general affine group of degree one over field:F4. All the elements of this group are of the form:

where . Below, we interpret the conjugacy classes of the group in these terms:

Nature of conjugacy class | Size of conjugacy class (generic ) | Size of conjugacy class () | Number of such conjugacy classes (generic ) | Number of such conjugacy classes () | Total number of elements (generic ) | Total number of elements () | Representatives of conjugacy classes as permutations |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | ||

(conjugacy class is independent of choice of ) | 3 | 1 | 1 | 3 | |||

(conjugacy class is determined completely by choice of and is independent of choice of ; in other words, each conjugacy class is a coset of the subgroup of translations) | 4 | 2 | 8 | and | |||

Total (--) | -- | -- | 4 | 12 | -- |

### Interpretation as von Dyck group

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## Conjugacy class structure: additional information

### Number of conjugacy classes

The alternating group of degree four has 4 conjugacy classes. Below are listed various methods that can be used to compute the number of conjugacy classes, all of which should give the answer 4: