Maximal normal subgroup
This article is about a standard (though not very rudimentary) definition in group theory. The article text may, however, contain more than just the basic definition
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- It is normal and the only normal subgroup properly containing it is the whole group
- It is normal and the quotient group is a simple group
Definition with symbols
A proper subgroup of a group is termed a maximal normal subgroup if it satisfies the following conditions:
- is normal in and for any normal subgroup of such that , either or .
- is normal in and is a simple group.
Equivalence of definitions
Further information: Equivalence of definitions of maximal normal subgroup
The equivalence of definitions basically follows from the fourth isomorphism theorem, which establishes a bijection between normal subgroups of and normal subgroups of containing .
|Statement||Explanation and examples|
|Nilpotent implies every maximal subgroup is normal||In dihedral group:D8, a group of order 8, the cyclic maximal subgroup of order 4 as well as the Klein four-subgroups of dihedral group:D8 are all maximal normal subgroups. Further information: subgroup structure of dihedral group:D8|
|Index two implies normal||In the dihedral group of degree and order , the cyclic subgroup of order is a maximal normal subgroup. In symmetric group:S3, the subgroup A3 in S3 is a maximal normal subgroup. Similarly, in symmetric group:S4, the subgroup A4 in S4 is a maximal normal subgroup.|
|Subgroup of index equal to least prime divisor of group order is normal||For instance, in a group of order 45, any subgroup of index 3 (hence order 15) is maximal normal.|
|Maximal normal iff normal of prime index in solvable||In a solvable group, the maximal normal subgroups are precisely the normal subgroups of prime index. Note that all subgroups of prime index need not be normal, though.|
|In a non-solvable group, maximal normal subgroups could either be normal of prime index or be normal subgroups with the quotient a simple non-abelian group.||For instance, in a simple group such as the alternating group on five letters, the trivial subgroup is a maximal normal subgroup. Similarly, in a special linear group over a finite field such as , the center is a maximal normal subgroup, because the quotient, which is a projective special linear group , is simple. Further information: special linear group is quasisimple, projective special linear group is simple|
|Infinite groups need not have maximal normal subgroups||For instance, , the group of rational numbers, has no maximal normal subgroup.|
In terms of the maximal operator
This property is obtained by applying the maximal operator to the property: proper normal subgroup
View other properties obtained by applying the maximal operator
Relation with other properties
- Normal subgroup whose quotient is an absolutely simple group
- Subgroup of index two
- Normal subgroup of prime index
Related group properties
- Group in which every maximal subgroup is normal: All nilpotent groups satisfy this property
- Group in which every maximal normal subgroup has prime index: All solvable groups satisfy this property
- Composition series is a subnormal series where each member is a maximal normal subgroup of the adjacent member bigger than it. The quotients for a composition series, called the composition factors, are simple groups. The Jordan-Holder theorem guarantees uniqueness of the composition factors up to permutation and isomorphism classes.
- A one-headed group is a group with a unique maximal normal subgroup. Such a maximal normal subgroup is termed a head.
- The Jacobson radical is defined as the intersection of all maximal normal subgroups. This is related to, but different from, the Frattini subgroup, which is the intersection of all maximal subgroups. In nilpotent groups, and in particular in groups of prime power order, the two notions coincide.
This subgroup property can be tested using built-in functionality of Groups, Algorithms, Programming (GAP).
The GAP command for listing all subgroups with this property is:MaximalNormalSubgroups
View subgroup properties testable with built-in GAP command|View subgroup properties for which all subgroups can be listed with built-in GAP commands | View subgroup properties codable in GAP
Learn more about using GAP
- Groups and representations by Jonathan Lazare Alperin and Rowen B. Bell, ISBN 0387945261, More info, Page 90 (definition introduced in paragraph)
- A Course in the Theory of Groups by Derek J. S. Robinson, ISBN 0387944613More info, Page 24, Exercises 1.4, Problem 6 (no definition introduced, but problem implicitly asks to show the equivalence of the two definitions given)