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Algebraic group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In algebraic geometry, an algebraic group (or group variety) is a group that is an algebraic variety, such that the multiplication and inversion operations are given by regular maps on the variety.

In terms of category theory, an algebraic group is a group object in the category of algebraic varieties.


Several important classes of groups are algebraic groups, including:

There are other algebraic groups, but Chevalley's structure theorem asserts that every algebraic group is an extension of an abelian variety by a linear algebraic group. More precisely, if K is a perfect field, and G an algebraic group over K, there exists a unique normal closed subgroup H in G, such that H is a linear algebraic group and G/H an abelian variety.

According to another basic theorem[which?], any group that is also an affine variety has a faithful finite-dimensional linear representation: it is isomorphic to a matrix group, defined by polynomial equations.

Over the fields of real and complex numbers, every algebraic group is also a Lie group, but the converse is false.

A group scheme is a generalization of an algebraic group that allows, in particular, working over a commutative ring instead of a field.

Algebraic subgroup

An algebraic subgroup of an algebraic group is a Zariski-closed subgroup. Generally these are taken to be connected (or irreducible as a variety) as well.

Another way of expressing the condition is as a subgroup that is also a subvariety.

This may also be generalized by allowing schemes in place of varieties. The main effect of this in practice, apart from allowing subgroups in which the connected component is of finite index > 1, is to admit non-reduced schemes, in characteristic p.

Coxeter groups

There are a number of analogous results between algebraic groups and Coxeter groups – for instance, the number of elements of the symmetric group is , and the number of elements of the general linear group over a finite field is the q-factorial ; thus the symmetric group behaves as though it were a linear group over "the field with one element". This is formalized by the field with one element, which considers Coxeter groups to be simple algebraic groups over the field with one element.

Glossary of algebraic groups

There are a number of mathematical notions to study and classify algebraic groups.

In the sequel, G denotes an algebraic group over a field k.

notion explanation example remarks
linear algebraic group A Zariski closed subgroup of for some n Every affine algebraic group is isomorphic to a linear algebraic group, and vice versa
affine algebraic group An algebraic group that is an affine variety , non-example: elliptic curve The notion of affine algebraic group stresses the independence from any embedding in
commutative The underlying (abstract) group is abelian. (the additive group), (the multiplicative group),[1] any complete algebraic group (see abelian variety)
diagonalizable group A closed subgroup of , the group of diagonal matrices (of size n-by-n)
simple algebraic group A connected group that has no non-trivial connected normal subgroups
semisimple group An affine algebraic group with trivial radical , In characteristic zero, the Lie algebra of a semisimple group is a semisimple Lie algebra
reductive group An affine algebraic group with trivial unipotent radical Any finite group, Any semisimple group is reductive
unipotent group An affine algebraic group such that all elements are unipotent The group of upper-triangular n-by-n matrices with all diagonal entries equal to 1 Any unipotent group is nilpotent
torus A group that becomes isomorphic to when passing to the algebraic closure of k. G is said to be split by some bigger field k' , if G becomes isomorphic to Gmn as an algebraic group over k'.
character group X(G) The group of characters, i.e., group homomorphisms
Lie algebra Lie(G) The tangent space of G at the unit element. is the space of all n-by-n matrices Equivalently, the space of all left-invariant derivations.

See also


  1. ^ These two are the only connected one-dimensional linear groups, Springer 1998, Theorem 3.4.9
  • Chevalley, Claude, ed. (1958), Séminaire C. Chevalley, 1956--1958. Classification des groupes de Lie algébriques, 2 vols, Paris: Secrétariat Mathématique, MR 0106966, Reprinted as volume 3 of Chevalley's collected works., archived from the original on 2013-08-30, retrieved 2012-06-25
  • Humphreys, James E. (1972), Linear Algebraic Groups, Graduate Texts in Mathematics, 21, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-90108-4, MR 0396773
  • Lang, Serge (1983), Abelian varieties, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-90875-5
  • Milne, J. S., Affine Group Schemes; Lie Algebras; Lie Groups; Reductive Groups; Arithmetic Subgroups
  • Mumford, David (1970), Abelian varieties, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-560528-0, OCLC 138290
  • Springer, Tonny A. (1998), Linear algebraic groups, Progress in Mathematics, 9 (2nd ed.), Boston, MA: Birkhäuser Boston, ISBN 978-0-8176-4021-7, MR 1642713
  • Waterhouse, William C. (1979), Introduction to affine group schemes, Graduate Texts in Mathematics, 66, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-90421-4
  • Weil, André (1971), Courbes algébriques et variétés abéliennes, Paris: Hermann, OCLC 322901

Further reading

This page was last edited on 13 September 2021, at 11:16
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