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Introduction to Groups

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Last updated date: 25th Jul 2024
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Define Formal Group

Let’s define a formal group! A group that is formed when people come together to accomplish specific goals and objectives is known as a formal group. An official group can be defined as a group that has particular structures and roles where the responsibilities of members of the group are defined.

What are Binary Operations?

A binary operation is just like an operation, except that it takes two elements, no more, no less, and combines the elements into one.

You already know a few binary operators, here they are :

  • 5 + 3 equals 8.

  • 4 × 3 equals 12.

  • 4 - 4 equals 0.

These all take two numbers and then we combine them in different ways to get one number. Notice the last example, 4 - 4 equals 0. It still takes 2 elements, even if they are the exact same elements.

Here, we are going to discuss the formal definition of a group, introduction to groups.

Introduction to Groups

Now that we understand sets as well as operators, you know the basic building blocks that make up groups. Simply put:

We can define a group as a set combined with an operation. Let’s take, for example, the set of integers with addition.

We can't say much if we just know there are a set and an operator. What more could we describe? We need more information about the set as well as the operator. This is the reason why groups have restrictions placed on them. That is, they have more properties. Further, we are going through the formal definition of a group.

Formal Definition of a Group

Let’s know the formal definition of a group or the formal group meaning. A group is said to be a set G, combined with an operation *, such that:

  • The group contains an identity

  • The group contains inverses

  • The operation is associative

  • The group is closed under the operation.

That is the formal definition of a group. Let's look at those one at a time:

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1. The group contains an identity. If we use the operation on any element and the identity, we will get that same element back.

For the integers and addition, the identity is known to be "0". Because 5+0 = 5 and 0+5 = 5.

In other words, we can say that it leaves other elements unchanged when combined with them. There is only one identity element that is for every group.

The symbol for the identity element is e, or sometimes zero. But you need to start seeing the number zero as a symbol rather than a number. 0 is the symbol for denoting the identity, just in the same way e is. It's defined that way. In fact, many times mathematicians prefer to use the number 0 rather than e because it is much more natural.

Formal Statement: There exists an e in  set G, such that a * e equals a and e * a equals a, for all elements a in G.

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2. The group contains inverses. Let’s suppose if we have an element of the group, there's another element of the group such that when we use the operator on both of them, we get e, the identity.

For the integers and addition, the inverse of the number 5 is -5. (because 5 + -5 equals 0)

In a similar manner for negative integers, the inverses are positives. -5 + 5 = 0, so the inverse of -5 is 5. In fact, if a is the inverse of suppose b, then it must be that b is the inverse of a. Inverses are unique. You can't name any other number x, such that 5 + x = 0 besides -5.

The notation that is used for inverses is a-1. So in the above example, a-1 = b. In a similar way, if we are talking about integers and addition, 5-1 equals -5.

Formal Statement: For all, a in G, there exists b in G, such that a * b equals e and b * a = e.

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3. Associative. You should have learned about associative rule in basic algebra. It basically explains that the order in which we do operations doesn't matter.

a * (c *d) equals (a * c) * d

Notice that we still went a...d...c. All that changed was the parentheses. We'll get back to this later.

4. Closed under the operation. Imagine you are closed inside a huge box. When you are on the inside of the box, you can't get to the outside. Similarly, if once you have two elements inside the group, no matter what the elements are, using the operation on them will not get you outside that group.

Suppose we have two elements in the group, a and b, it must be the case that a*b is also in the group. This is what we mean by closed. It is known as closed because from inside the group, we can't get outside of it.

And as with the earlier properties, the same is true with the integers as well as addition. If x and y are integers, x + y = z, it must be that z is an integer as well.

Formal Statement: For all elements let’s say, a, b in G, a*b is in G.

So, if you have a set as well as an operation, and you can satisfy every one of those conditions, then you have a Group.

FAQs on Introduction to Groups

Question 1. What is a Creative Way to Introduce Yourself?

Answer. Ways to Introduce Yourself to Your Students, In-Person or Online are -

  • Send postcards to introduce yourself.

  • Decorate a Bitmoji virtual classroom.

  • Create a Facebook profile.

  • Introduce yourself in a movie.

  • Draw a name map.

  • Make a photo book to introduce yourself.

  • Hold a scavenger hunt.

  • Let them do the math.

Question 2. What is the Meaning of Group?

Answer. (Entry 1 of 2) We have already discussed the formal group definition.1: two or more figures forming a complete unit in a composition are identified as a group. 2: a number of individuals assembled together or having some unifying relationship with a study group.

Question 3. How can I Introduce Myself in Class?

Answer. Greet students and introduce yourself once everyone is seated.  You can include your name, your academic background, and your interests. You could say something like, “Good morning class, my name is John Jeffrey, you can call me John or Professor Smith.

Question 4. How do You Give an Introduction?

Answer. These points are a very main part of self-introduction:

  1. Start with a smile on your face & give details about yourself.

  2. If necessary only add your family details.

  3. Tell about your educational details.

  4. About your Project in Brief.

  5. The person who inspired you a lot.