Maximum degree of irreducible representation

This term is related to: linear representation theory
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Definition

For a group over a field

Suppose $G$ is a group and $K$ is a field. The maximum degree of irreducible representation of $G$ is defined as the maximum of all the degrees of irreducible representations of $G$ over $K$.

Typical context: finite group and splitting field

The typical context is where $G$ is a finite group and $K$ is a splitting field for $G$. In particular, the characteristic of $K$ is either zero or is a prime not dividing the order of $G$, and every irreducible representation of $G$ over any extension field of $K$ can be realized over $K$.

Note that the maximum degree of irreducible representation depends (if at all) only on the characteristic of the field $K$. This is because the degrees of irreducible representations over a splitting field depend only on the characteristic of the field.

Default case: characteristic zero

By default, when referring to the maximum degree of irreducible representation, we refer to the case of characteristic zero, and we can in particular take $K = \mathbb{C}$.

Related notions

• Quasirandom degree is the minimum of the degrees of nontrivial irreducible representations.

Facts

Subgroups

The proofs presented for these facts seem to rely on the assumption that the characteristic of the field does not divide the order of the group, although it might be possible to adapt them to the modular case:

Particular cases

For any finite abelian group, all the irreducible representations over a splitting field are one-dimensional, so the maximum degree of irreducible representation over any splitting field is one-dimensional. The situation may be different over non-splitting fields.

Group Order Second part of GAP ID Maximum degree of irreducible representation over $\mathbb{C}$ Maximum degree of irreducible representation over $\R$ Maximum degree of irreducible representation over $\mathbb{Q}$ General note on degrees of irreducible representations
trivial group 1 1 1 1 1 always 1, regardless of the field
cyclic group:Z2 2 1 1 1 1 always 1, regardless of the field
cyclic group:Z3 3 1 1 2 2 either 1 or 2, depending on whether the field is a splitting field
cyclic group:Z4 4 1 1 2 2 either 1 or 2, depending on whether the field is a splitting field
Klein four-group 4 2 1 1 1 always 1, regardless of the field
cyclic group:Z5 5 1 1 2 4 1, 2, or 4, depending on how $x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1$ splits in the field