Author 
Topic: Group with many trivially intersecting subgroups (Read 2135 times) 

ecoist
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 405


Group with many trivially intersecting subgroups
« on: Mar 2^{nd}, 2006, 2:24pm » 
Quote Modify

Determine all groups G of order n^{2} containing n+1 subroups of order n, any two of which intersect in the identity of G.


IP Logged 



Michael Dagg
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 500


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #1 on: Mar 4^{th}, 2006, 1:28pm » 
Quote Modify

I guess that the only examples are vector spaces of even dimension over the finite fields F_p. These are indeed of the form required: if G = p^(2n), view G as the cartesian product H x H of two copies of the additive group of the field H of p^n elements. Then there is the subgroup { ( 0, h ) ; h in H } and the subgroups { (h, k h ) ; h in H } for each fixed k in the field H. One might think that more general groups G = H x H would apply, but I don't know what other possibilities exist for H besides cyclic simple groups. The problem would be to enumerate all the subgroups of order H. Among them are: the group { 1 } x H, and all the groups { (x, phi(x)) ; x in H } for each endomorphism phi of H. However, in order for these to be disjoint, we would have to choose the phi's so that phi(x) = phi'(x) ==> ( phi=phi' or x = 1 ). In particular, for every two nonidentity elements x and y there have to be endomorphisms carrying x to y. That means that all these elements have to have the same order, so H is a pgroup (of exponent p). But every endomorphism of a pgroup carries the Frattini subgroup back to within itself, so there would be no such phi if x is in the Frattini subgroup but not y. This this means the Frattini group is trivial, i.e. H is an elementaryabelian pgroup. As I showed in the previous paragraph, for such an H, G = H x H always meets the condition for some selection of subgroups of order H. So it looks like "group squares" H x H only work with H is elementary abelian. However, I do not claim that my list of all subgroups of order H in H x H is complete; it could be that there are others, and maybe including those others in the list of subgroups of orderH would allow you to find H+1 of these subgroups which are disjoint. At this moment I can only guess that the condition implies that G has to be a square H x H in the first place. It's a sort of unusual condition. How did this problem arise?

« Last Edit: Mar 4^{th}, 2006, 1:39pm by Michael Dagg » 
IP Logged 
Regards, Michael Dagg



ecoist
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 405


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #2 on: Mar 4^{th}, 2006, 1:48pm » 
Quote Modify

Quote:How did this problem arise? 
 I was trying to use group theory to construct orthogonal latin squares. The existence of such a group insures the existence of a complete set of mutually orthogonal latin squares of order n, or equivalently, the existence of a projective plane of order n. As your analysis suggests, this group theory approach yields nothing new on mutually orthogonal latin squares.

« Last Edit: Mar 4^{th}, 2006, 1:51pm by ecoist » 
IP Logged 



Michael Dagg
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 500


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #3 on: Mar 7^{th}, 2006, 4:29pm » 
Quote Modify

That explains why G has to be square. If this had been posted as a latin squares problem I would have likely not bitten. If you know group theory, you can take my previous remarks and compose a construction.


IP Logged 
Regards, Michael Dagg



ecoist
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 405


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #4 on: Mar 7^{th}, 2006, 5:20pm » 
Quote Modify

Quote:If you know group theory, you can take my previous remarks and compose a construction. 
 One solver used his knowledge of geometry to partially solve the problem, but no knowledge of combinatorics or geometry is needed to solve this problem completely. You know group theory apparently, so why not complete your analysis? Or do you expect your solution to be too long to bother with? I hope you reconsider posting a proof. I enjoy seeing proofs different from mine.


IP Logged 



Michael Dagg
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 500


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #5 on: Mar 8^{th}, 2006, 2:55pm » 
Quote Modify

This is likely more useful than anything else I can offer: MR1829097 (2002g:05036) Colbourn, Charles J.(1VTC); Dinitz, Jeffrey H.(1VTC) Mutually orthogonal Latin squares: a brief survey of constructions. (English. English summary) ÿÿÿðEñw7Ç`


IP Logged 
Regards, Michael Dagg



Guest



IP Logged 



Guest

This post was corrupted, and has now been reproduced in reply 12. towr

« Last Edit: Oct 7^{th}, 2007, 10:49am by towr » 
IP Logged 



Michael Dagg
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 500


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #8 on: Oct 25^{th}, 2006, 9:11am » 
Quote Modify

Icarus, notice that ecoist's solution has gone corrupt  well, sort of. There are lots of nice solutions on this forum that would be a pity to loose.

« Last Edit: Oct 25^{th}, 2006, 9:17am by Michael Dagg » 
IP Logged 
Regards, Michael Dagg



Icarus
wu::riddles Moderator Uberpuzzler
Boldly going where even angels fear to tread.
Gender:
Posts: 4863


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #9 on: Oct 25^{th}, 2006, 7:25pm » 
Quote Modify

Indeed. Unfortunately, I don't have any more ability to correct this than you do. I've sent an Email to William Wu about it. I don't know if he'll be able to do anything either.


IP Logged 
"Pi goes on and on and on ... And e is just as cursed. I wonder: Which is larger When their digits are reversed? "  Anonymous



william wu
wu::riddles Administrator
Gender:
Posts: 1291


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #10 on: Oct 25^{th}, 2006, 9:46pm » 
Quote Modify

Hello, Allegedly around 1% of data hosted on OCF was lost in the recent OCF server outage, when the hard drives failed. Please let me know of any other instances of lost/corrupted data, and I will try to work with the staff to recover it if possible. It appears the forum is much faster now!


IP Logged 
[ wu ] : http://wuriddles.com / http://forums.wuriddles.com



towr
wu::riddles Moderator Uberpuzzler
Some people are average, some are just mean.
Gender:
Posts: 13730


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #11 on: Oct 26^{th}, 2006, 1:06am » 
Quote Modify

on Oct 25^{th}, 2006, 9:46pm, william wu wrote:It appears the forum is much faster now! 
 Appearances may be deceiving. It comes and goes; the forum was even unreachable at timed yesterday. Quote:Please let me know of any other instances of lost/corrupted data, and I will try to work with the staff to recover it if possible. 
 alien's account has been lost (I emailed you about it, but maybe that got lost too) And posts seem to be disappearing occasionally.

« Last Edit: Oct 26^{th}, 2006, 1:07am by towr » 
IP Logged 
Wikipedia, Google, Mathworld, Integer sequence DB



ecoist
Senior Riddler
Gender:
Posts: 405


Re: Group with many trivially intersecting subgrou
« Reply #12 on: Oct 7^{th}, 2007, 10:37am » 
Quote Modify

Finally getting around to rewriting the corrupted post solving this problem! Let G be a group of order n^{2} with n+1 subgroups of order n with pairwise trivial intersection. Then G is an elementary abelian pgroup. Proof. The integer n is greater than 1 because a group of order 1 cannot have two subgroups. Also, every nonidentity element of G belongs to a unique one of the n+1 given subgroups of order n. Let A and B be any two of the given subgroups of order n. Then G=AB. We show A is normal in G. Suppose that, for some x in G, x^{1}ax lies outside A. Then, without loss we may assume x^{1}ax=b in B, and that x=a*b*, with a* in A and b* in B. But then b=x^{1}ax=b*^{1}a*^{1}aa*b*; so b*bb*^{1}=a*^{1}aa*=1, because A and B have trivial intersection. Hence b=1, contradiction. Therefore, A is normal in G; and so, too, are all of the given subgroups of order n. Next we show that G is abelian. So far, we know that G is the direct product of A and B. Let x be any element of G outside of both A and B. Then x belongs to a unique one, say C, of the given subgroups of order n. Hence every element of C commutes with every element of both A and B (because G is the direct product of both C and A and C and B), whence x is in the center of G. Switching roles of A, B, and C, it follows that G is abelian. Finally, we show that every nonidentity element of G must have the same prime order. Let a be an element of prime order p in A and let b be any nonidentity element of B. Then ab lies outside both A and B and hence lies in a unique one of the given subgroups of order n, say, without loss, C. Now C determines an isomorphism from A to B defined by, f(a) is the unique element of B such that af(a) lies in C. It follows that every nonidentity element of A has order p. Hence A and B are elementary abelian pgroups; and so G is an elementary abelian pgroup of order p^{2k}, for some prime p and positive integer k.


IP Logged 



