Finite abelian groups with the same order statistics are isomorphic

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Suppose and are Finite abelian group (?)s that are order statistics-equivalent: the order statistics of equal the order statistics of . Then, is isomorphic to .

Facts used

  1. Structure theorem for finite abelian groups


Proof idea

We show that the invariants needed to describe a finite abelian group by the structure theorem are completely determined by the order statistics.

Proof details

By fact (1), any finite abelian group can be written as a direct product of cyclic groups of prime power order, with the number of copies of a cyclic group of prime power order independent of the choice of decomposition.

We claim that the order statistics of a finite group determine the number of times each cyclic group of prime power order occurs as a direct factor. First, for every prime , consider the subgroup of elements whose order is a power of (in other words, the -Sylow subgroup). This is obtained by grouping together, in the direct product decomposition, all cyclic groups of order a power of . Thus, we may restrict attention to this subgroup, so it suffices to consider the case that is a finite abelian -group.

For any , let be the number of cyclic group factors of order , let be the sum of the s, and let be the logarithm to base of the number of elements of order dividing . This makes sense since theelements of order dividing form a subgroup. Also, is clearly determined by the order statistics. We claim that the s determine the s.

An easy count shows that for all :


We thus get, taking a first difference:


Taking a second difference yields:


This shows that the s determine the s, completing the proof.