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Math Help - Group theory question

  1. #1
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    Group theory question

    Let G be a finite group with identity e. Suppose that a an element of G has order n. Show
    that H = {e, a, a^2,...,a^n-1} is a subgroup of G.

    supposedly first meant to show that a^m is an element of H for
    any natural number m then use Lagrange's Theorem to deduce that the order of any
    element must divide the order of the group.

    im really stuck with this group theory work.. if someone could run through this it would be much appreciated!

    thank you
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  2. #2
    Super Member Rebesques's Avatar
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    supposedly first meant to show that a^m is an element of H for
    any natural number m then use Lagrange's Theorem to deduce that the order of any
    element must divide the order of the group.

    Well... First of all, the subgroup generated by a is H=\{a^m:m\in \mathbb{Z} \}.

    You can claim that H=\{e,a,\ldots,a^{n-1}\}, and set out to prove this as follows:

    Since a^n=e, for a random integer m
    use Euclidean division to obtain m=kn+v for some integers k,v with v<n. Then a^m=a^{kn+v}=a^v.

    So, all the elements of H
    are contained in its subset and subgroup, S=\{e,a,\ldots,a^{n-1}\}. Therefore, H=S.
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    Last edited by KCIrish18; November 15th 2010 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Understood
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