what is conjugacy class?

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- January 27th 2011, 06:53 AMluckylawranceconjugacy class
what is conjugacy class?

- January 27th 2011, 06:54 AMroninpro
- January 27th 2011, 07:38 AMHallsofIvy
Two members of a group, x and y, are said to be "conjugate" if there exists a member of the group, z, such that . That, of course, is the same as saying that . It is easy to prove that that is an equivalence relation (refexive: x is conjugate to itself by taking z equal to the group identity. symmetric: if x is conjugate to y, so that , then with . transitive: if x is conjugate to y and y is conjugate to z then and . Then so x is conjugate to x).

A "conjugacy class" is the equivalence class using "conjugate" as the equivalence relation.

Notice that if the group is Abelian (commutative) then zx= xz so that if x and y are conjuate, zx= xz= yz and then x= y. That, is, in Abelian groups, a member of the group is conjugate only to itself and the conjugacy classes consist only of the single elements.