Category Archives: group theory

Fermat’s Little Theorem: proof by group theory

It’s time for our third and final proof of Fermat’s Little Theorem, this time using some group theory. This proof is probably the shortest—explaining this proof to a professional mathematician would probably take only a single sentence—but requires you to … Continue reading

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Origami stellated icosahedron!

Continuing what I started in December, I finally finished making a stellated icosahedron out of 30 Sonobe units. Each Sonobe unit corresponds to an edge of the icosahedron, and interlocks with three others to give the whole thing a remarkable … Continue reading

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I made a Straws Thingy!

I finished my Straws Thingy! (You can see bigger versions of all the photos here.) It’s made out of 60 straws, 12 of each color. Three straws make a triangle; four triangles of each color are woven into a tetrahedron; … Continue reading

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Making stuff!

Recently I have been on a sort of kick making physical mathematical objects. First, inspired by this post on mathcraft.wonderhowto.com, I’ve learned how to fold origami Sonobe units and assemble them into various polyhedral things. So far, I’ve made a … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 30: Cyclic subgroups

Today, to wrap things up, we will use Lagrange’s Theorem to prove that if is an element of the group , the order of evenly divides the order of . So we have a group and an element . In … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 29: Equivalence classes are cosets

Today will conclude the proof of Lagrange’s Theorem! Recall that we defined subgroups and left cosets, and defined a certain equivalence relation on a group in terms of a subgroup . Today we’re going to show that the equivalence classes … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 28: Equivalence relations are partitions

Today we’ll take a brief break from group theory to prove a fact about equivalence relations, namely, that they are the same as partitions. A partition is a pretty intuitive concept: you take a big set, and cut it up … Continue reading

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