# Chapter 11: Galois theory

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1 Chapter 11: Galois theory Matthew Macauley Department of Mathematical Sciences Clemson University Math 410, Spring 014 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

2 Overview and some history The quadradic formula is well-known. It gives us the two roots of a degree- polynomial ax + bx + c = 0: x 1, = b ± b 4ac. a There are formulas for cubic and quartic polynomials, but they are very complicated. For years, people wondered if there was a quintic formula. Nobody could find one. In the 1830s, 19-year-old political activist Évariste Galois, with no formal mathematical training proved that no such formula existed. He invented the concept of a group to solve this problem. After being challenged to a dual at age 0 that he knew he would lose, Galois spent the last few days of his life frantically writing down what he had discovered. In a final letter Galois wrote, Later there will be, I hope, some people who will find it to their advantage to decipher all this mess. Hermann Weyl ( ) described Galois final letter as: if judged by the novelty and profundity of ideas it contains, is perhaps the most substantial piece of writing in the whole literature of mankind. Thus was born the field of group theory! M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring 014 / 43

3 Arithmetic Most people s first exposure to mathematics comes in the form of counting. At first, we only know about the natural numbers, N = {1,, 3,... }, and how to add them. Soon after, we learn how to subtract, and we learn about negative numbers as well. At this point, we have the integers, Z = {...,, 1, 0, 1,,... }. Then, we learn how to divide numbers, and are introducted to fractions. This brings us to the rational numbers, Q = { a a, b Z, b 0}. b Though there are other numbers out there (irrational, complex, etc.), we don t need these to do basic arithmetic. Key point To do arithmetic, we need at least the rational numbers. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

4 Fields Definition A set F with addition and multiplication operations is a field if the following three conditions hold: F is an abelian group under addition. F \ {0} is an abelian group under multiplication. The distributive law holds: a(b + c) = ab + ac. Examples The following sets are fields: Q, R, C, Z p (prime p). The following sets are not fields: N, Z, Z n (composite n). Definition If F and E are fields with F E, we say that E is an extension of F. For example, C is an extension of R, which is an extension of Q. In this chapter, we will explore some more unusual fields and study their automorphisms. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

5 An extension field of Q Question What is the smallest extension field F of Q that contains? This field must contain all sums, differences, and quotients of numbers we can get from. For example, it must include:, 1, 6 +, ( ) 3 + 3, 16+. However, these can be simplified. For example, observe that ( ) = ( ) ( ) = In fact, all of these numbers can be written as a + b, for some a, b Q. Key point The smallest extension of Q that contains is called Q adjoin, and denoted: Q( ) = {a + b { : a, b Q} = p + } r q s : p, q, r, s Z, q, s 0. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

6 Q(i): Another extension field of Q Question What is the smallest extension field F of Q that contains i = 1? This field must contain i,, 6 + i, ( ) i i + 3 3, i 16+i. As before, we can write all of these as a + bi, where a, b Q. Thus, the field Q adjoin i is { p Q(i) = {a + bi : a, b Q} = q + r } i : p, q, r, s Z, q, s 0. s Remarks Q(i) is much smaller than C. For example, it does not contain. Q( ) is a subfield of R, but Q(i) is not. Q( ) contains all of the roots of f (x) = x. It is called the splitting field of f (x). Similarly, Q(i) is the splitting field of g(x) = x + 1. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

7 Q(, i): Another extension field of Q Question What is the smallest extension field F of Q that contains and i = 1? We can do this in two steps: (i) Adjoin the roots of the polynomial x to Q, yielding Q( ); (ii) Adjoin the roots of the polynomial x + 1 to Q( ), yielding Q( )(i); An element in Q(, i) := Q( )(i) has the form = α + βi α, β Q( ) (a + b ) + (c + d )i a, b, c, d Q a + b + ci + d i a, b, c, d Q We say that {1,, i, i} is a basis for the extension Q(, i) over Q. Thus, Q(, i) = {a + b + ci + d i : a, b, c, d Q} In summary, Q(, i) is constructed by starting with Q, and adjoining all roots of h(x) = (x )(x + 1) = x 4 x. It is the splitting field of h(x). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

8 Q(, 3): Another extension field of Q Question What is the smallest extension field F of Q that contains and 3? This time, our field is Q(, 3), constructed by starting with Q, and adjoining all roots of the polynomial h(x) = (x )(x 3) = x 4 5x + 6. It is not difficult to show that {1,, 3, 6} is a basis for this field, i.e., Q(, 3) = {a + b + c 3 + d 6 : a, b, c, d Q}. Like with did with a group and its subgroups, we can arrange the subfields of Q(, 3) in a lattice. I ve labeled each extension with the degree of the polynomial whose roots I need to adjoin. Just for fun: What group has a subgroup lattice that looks like this? Q(, 3) Q( ) Q( 6) Q( 3) Q M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

9 Q(ζ, 3 ): Another extension field of Q Question What is the smallest extension field F of Q that contains all roots of g(x) = x 3? Let ζ = e πi/3 = i. This is a 3rd root of unity; the roots of x 3 1 = (x 1)(x + x + 1) are 1, ζ, ζ. ζ =e πi/3 C Note that the roots of g(x) are z 1 = 3, z = ζ 3, z 3 = ζ 3. π 3 1 Thus, the field we seek is F = Q(z 1, z, z 3). ζ =e 4πi/3 I claim that F = Q(ζ, 3 ). Note that this field contains z 1, z, and z 3. Conversely, we can construct ζ and 3 from z 1 and z, using arithmetic. A little algebra can show that Q(ζ, 3 ) = {a + b 3 + c dζ + eζ 3 + f ζ 3 4 : a, b, c, d, e, f Q}. Since ζ = i lies in Q(ζ, 3 ), so does (ζ + 1 ) = 3i = 3. Thus, Q(ζ, 3 ) = Q( 3, 3 ) = Q( 3i, 3 ). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

10 Subfields of Q(ζ, 3 ) What are the subfields of Q(ζ, 3 ) = {a + b 3 + c dζ + eζ 3 + f ζ 3 4 : a, b, c, d, e, f Q}? Note that (ζ ) = ζ 4 = ζ, and so Q(ζ ) = Q(ζ) = {a + bζ : a, b Q}. Similarly, ( 3 4) = 3, and so Q( 3 4) = Q( 3 ) = {a + b 3 + c 3 4 : a, b, c Q}. There are two more subfields. As we did before, we can arrange them in a lattice: Q(ζ, 3 ) 3 Q( 3 ) Q(ζ 3 ) Q(ζ 3 ) Q(ζ) Q Look familiar? D r 3 3 f rf r f e Compare this to the subgroup lattice of D 3. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

11 Field automorphisms Recall that an automorphism of a group G was an isomorphism φ: G G. Definition Let F be a field. A field automorphism of F is a bijection φ: F F such that for all a, b F, φ(a + b) = φ(a) + φ(b) and φ(ab) = φ(a) φ(b). In other words, φ must preserve the structure of the field. For example, let F = Q( ). Verify (HW) that the function φ: Q( ) Q( ), φ: a + b a b. is an automorphism. That is, show that φ((a + b ) + (c + d )) = = φ(a + b ) + φ(c + d ) φ((a + b )(c + d )) = = φ(a + b ) φ(c + d ). What other field automorphisms of Q( ) are there? M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

12 A defining property of field automorphisms Field automorphisms are central to Galois theory! We ll see why shortly. Proposition If φ is an automorphism of an extension field F of Q, then φ(q) = q for all q Q. Proof Suppose that φ(1) = q. Clearly, q 0. (Why?) Observe that q = φ(1) = φ(1 1) = φ(1) φ(1) = q. Similarly, q = φ(1) = φ(1 1 1) = φ(1) φ(1) φ(1) = q 3. And so on. It follows that q n = q for every n 1. Thus, q = 1. Corollary is irrational. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

13 The Galois group of a field extension The set of all automorphisms of a field form a group under composition. Definition Let F be an extension field of Q. The Galois group of F is the group of automorphisms of F, denoted Gal(F ). Here are some examples (without proof): The Galois group of Q( ) is C : Gal(Q( )) = f = C, where f : An automorphism of F = Q(, i) is completely determined by where it sends and i. There are four possibilities: the identity map e, and { h( ) = h(i) = i { v( ) = v(i) = i { r( ) = r(i) = i Thus, the Galois group of F is Gal(Q(, i)) = h, v = V 4. What do you think the Galois group of Q(ζ, 3 ) is? M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

14 Summary so far Roughly speaking, a field is a group under both addition and multiplication (if we exclude 0), with the distributive law connecting these two operations. We are mostly interested in the field Q, and certain extension fields: F Q. Some of the extension fields we ve encountered: Q( ), Q(i), Q(, i), Q(, 3), Q(ζ, 3 ). An automorphism of a field F Q is a structure-preserving map that fixes Q. The set of all automorphisms of F Q forms a group, called the Galois group of F, denoted Gal(F ). There is an intriguing but mysterious connection between subfields of F and subgroups of Gal(F ). This is at the heart of Galois theory! Question How does this all relate to solving polynomials with radicals? M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

15 Polynomials Definition Let x be an unknown variable. A polynomial is a function f (x) = a nx n + a n 1x n a x + a 1x + a 0. The highest non-zero power of n is called the degree of f. We can assume that all of our coefficients a i lie in a field F. For example, if each a i Z (not a field), we could alternatively say that a i Q. Let F [x] denote the set of polynomials with coefficients in F. We call this the set of polynomials over F. Remark Even though Z is not a field, we can still write Z[x] to be the set of polynomials with integer coefficients. Most polynomials we encounter have integer coeffients anyways. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

16 Radicals The roots of low-degree polynomials can be expressed using arithmetic and radicals. For example, the roots of the polynomial f (x) = 5x 4 18x 7 are x 1, = ±, x 3,4 = ±. 5 5 Remark The operations of arithmetic, and radicals, are really the only way we have to write down generic complex numbers. Thus, if there is some number that cannot be expressed using radicals, we have no way to express it, unless we invent a special symbol for it (e.g., π or e). Even weirder, since a computer program is just a string of 0s and 1s, there are only countably infinite many possible programs. Since R is an uncountable set, there are numbers (in fact, almost all numbers) that can never be expressed algorithmically by a computer program! Such numbers are called uncomputable. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

17 Algebraic numbers Definition A complex number is algebraic (over Q) if it is the root of some polynomial in Z[x]. The set A of all algebraic numbers forms a field (this is not immediately obvious). A number that is not algebraic over Q (e.g., π, e, ϕ) is called transcendental. Every number that can be expressed from the natural numbers using arithmetic and radicals is algebraic. For example, consider Question x = x 5 = x 5 1 = 3 (x 5 1) = 3 x 10 x = 0. Can all algebraic numbers be expressed using radicals? This question was unsolved until the early 1800s. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

18 Hasse diagrams The relationship between the natural numbers N, and the fields Q, R, A, and C, is shown in the following Hasse diagrams. C R complex numbers a + bi, for a, b R real numbers?????? C algebraic closure A solving polynomial equations using radicals Q Q rational numbers, a b for a, b Z (b 0) N operations of arithmetic M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

19 Some basic facts about the complex numbers Definition A field F is algebraically closed if for any polynomial f (x) F [x], all of the roots of f (x) lie in F. Non-examples Q is not algebraically closed because f (x) = x Q[x] has a root Q. R is not algebraically closed because f (x) = x + 1 R[x] has a root 1 R. Fundamental theorem of algebra The field C is algebraically closed. Thus, every polynomial f (x) Z[x] completely factors, or splits over C: f (x) = (x r 1)(x r ) (x r n), r i C. Conversely, if F is not algebraically closed, then there are polynomials f (x) F [x] that do not split into linear factors over F. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

20 Complex conjugates Recall that complex roots of f (x) C[x] come in conjugate pairs: If r = a + bi is a root, then so is r = a bi. For example, here are the roots of some polynomials (degrees through 5) plotted in the complex plane. All of them exhibit symmetry across the x-axis. f (x) = x x + Roots: 1 ± i y 1 + i 1 i x f (x) = 1x 3 44x + 35x + 17 Roots: 1 3, ± 1 i y f (x) = x Roots: ± ± y f (x) = 8x 5 8x 4 6x 3 +83x 117x +90 Roots:, 3, 3, 1 i ±i y i 1 i x + i i + i x i 1 + i 3 1 i 3 x M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

21 Irreducibility Definition A polynomial f (x) F [x] is reducible over F if we can factor it as f (x) = g(x)h(x) for some g(x), h(x) F [x] of strictly lower degree. If f (x) is not reducible, we say it is irreducible over F. Examples x x 6 = (x + )(x 3) is reducible over Q. x 4 + 5x + 4 = (x + 1)(x + 4) is reducible over Q, but it has no roots in Q. x 3 is irreducible over Q. If we could factor it, then one of the factors would have degree 1. But x 3 has no roots in Q. Facts If deg(f ) > 1 and has a root in F, then it is reducible over F. Every polynomial in Z[x] is reducible over C. If f (x) F [x] is a degree- or 3 polynomial, then f (x) is reducible over F if and only if f (x) has a root in F. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

22 Eisenstein s criterion for irreducibility Lemma Let f Z[x] be irrreducible. Then f is also irreducible over Q. Equivalently, if f Z[x] factors over Q, then it factors over Z. Theorem (Eisenstein s criterion) A polynomial f (x) = a nx n + a n 1x n 1 + a 1x + a 0 Z[x] is irreducible if for some prime p, the following all hold: 1. p a n;. p a k for k = 0,..., n 1; 3. p a 0. For example, Eisenstein s criterion tells us that x x x + 14 is irreducible. Remark If Eisenstein s criterion fails for all primes p, that does not necessarily imply that f is reducible. For example, f (x) = x + x + 1 is irreducible over Q, but Eisenstein cannot detect this. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring 014 / 43

23 Extension fields as vector spaces Recall that a vector space over Q is a set of vectors V such that If u, v V, then u + v V (closed under addition) If v V, then cv V for all c Q (closed under scalar multiplication). The field Q( ) is a -dimensional vector space over Q: Q( ) = {a + b : a, b Q}. This is why we say that {1, } is a basis for Q( ) over Q. Notice that the other field extensions we ve seen are also vector spaces over Q: Q(, i) = {a + b + ci + d i : a, b, c, d Q}, Q(ζ, 3 ) = {a + b 3 + c dζ + eζ 3 + f ζ 3 4 : a, b, c, d, e, f Q}. As Q-vector spaces, Q(, i) has dimension 4, and Q(ζ, 3 ) has dimension 6. Definition If F E are fields, then the degree of the extension, denoted [E : F ], is the dimension of E as a vector space over F. Equivalently, this is the number of terms in the expression for a general element for E using coefficients from F. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

24 Minimial polynomials Definition Let r F be algebraic. The minimal polynomial of r over F is the irreducible polynomial in F [x] of which r is a root. It is unique up to scalar multiplication. Examples has minimal polynomial x over Q, and [Q( ) : Q] =. i = 1 has minimal polynomial x + 1 over Q, and [Q(i) : Q] =. ζ = e πi/3 has minimal polynomial x + x + 1 over Q, and [Q(ζ) : Q] =. 3 has minimal polynomial x 3 over Q, and [Q( 3 ) : Q] = 3. What are the minimal polynomials of the following numbers over Q?, i, ζ, ζ 3, ζ 3. Degree theorem The degree of the extension Q(r) is the degree of the minimal polynomial of r. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

25 The Galois group of a polynomial Definition Let f Z[x] be a polynomial, with roots r 1,..., r n. The splitting field of f is the field Q(r 1,..., r n). The splitting field F of f (x) has several equivalent characterizations: the smallest field that contains all of the roots of f (x); the smallest field in which f (x) splits into linear factors: f (x) = (x r 1)(x r ) (x r n) F [x]. Recall that the Galois group of an extension F Q is the group of automorphisms of F, denoted Gal(F ). Definition The Galois group of a polynomial f (x) is the Galois group of its splitting field, denoted Gal(f (x)). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

26 A few examples of Galois groups The polynomial x splits in Q( ), so Gal(x ) = Gal(Q( )) = C. The polynomial x + 1 splits in Q(i), so Gal(x + 1) = Gal(Q(i)) = C. The polynomial x + x + 1 splits in Q(ζ), where ζ = e πi/3, so Gal(x + x + 1) = Gal(Q(ζ)) = C. The polynomial x 3 1 = (x 1)(x + x + 1) also splits in Q(ζ), so Gal(x 3 1) = Gal(Q(ζ)) = C. The polynomial x 4 x = (x )(x + 1) splits in Q(, i), so Gal(x 4 x ) = Gal(Q(, i)) = V 4. The polynomial x 4 5x + 6 = (x )(x 3) splits in Q(, 3), so Gal(x 4 5x + 6) = Gal(Q(, 3)) = V 4. The polynomial x 3 splits in Q(ζ, 3 ), so Gal(x 3 ) = Gal(Q(ζ, 3 )) = D 3??? M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

27 The tower law of field extensions Recall that if we had a chain of subgroups K H G, then the index satisfies a tower law: [G : K] = [G : H][H : K]. Not surprisingly, the degree of field extensions obeys a similar tower law: Theorem (Tower law) For any chain of field extensions, F E K, [K : F ] = [K : E][E : F ]. We have already observed this in our subfield lattices: [Q(, 3) : Q] = [Q(, 3) : Q( ) ][ Q( ) : Q ] = = 4. }{{}}{{} min. poly: x 3 min. poly: x Here is another example: [Q(ζ, 3 ) : Q] = [Q(ζ, 3 ) : Q( 3 ) ][ Q( 3 ) : Q ] = 3 = 6. }{{}}{{} min. poly: x +x+1 min. poly: x 3 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

28 Primitive elements Primitive element theorem If F is an extension of Q with [F : Q] <, then F has a primitive element: some α Q for which F = Q(α). How do we find a primitive element α of F = Q(ζ, 3 ) = Q(i 3, 3 )? Let s try α = i 3 3 F. Clearly, [Q(α) : Q] 6. Observe that α = 3 3 4, α 3 = 6i 3, α 4 = 18 3, α 5 = 18i 3 4 3, α 6 = 108. Thus, α is a root of x The following are equivalent (why?): (i) α is a primitive element of F ; (ii) [Q(α) : Q] = 6; (iii) the minimal polynomial m(x) of α has degree 6; (iv) x is irreducible (and hence must be m(x)). In fact, [Q(α): Q] = 6 holds because both and 3 divide [Q(α): Q]: [Q(α): Q] = [Q(α): Q(i 3)] [Q(i 3): Q], [Q(α): Q] = [Q(α): Q( 3 )] [Q( 3 ): Q]. }{{}}{{} = =3 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

29 An example: The Galois group of x 4 5x + 6 The polynomial f (x) = (x )(x 3) = x 4 5x + 6 has splitting field Q(, 3). We already know that its Galois group should be V 4. Let s compute it explicitly; this will help us understand it better. We need to determine all automorphisms φ of Q(, 3). We know: φ is determined by where it sends the basis elements {1,, 3, 6}. φ must fix 1. If we know where φ sends two of {, 3, 6}, then we know where it sends the third, because φ( 6) = φ( 3) = φ( ) φ( 3). In addition to the identity automorphism e, we have { φ( ) = φ ( 3) = 3 { φ3( ) = φ 3( 3) = 3 { φ4( ) = φ 4( 3) = 3 Question What goes wrong if we try to make φ( ) = 3? (Try it!) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

30 An example: The Galois group of x 4 5x + 6 There are 4 automorphisms of F = Q(, 3), the splitting field of x 4 5x + 6: e : a + b + c 3 + d 6 a + b + c 3 + d 6 φ : a + b + c 3 + d 6 a b + c 3 d 6 φ 3 : a + b + c 3 + d 6 a + b c 3 d 6 φ 4 : a + b + c 3 + d 6 a b c 3 + d 6 They form the Galois group of x 4 5x + 6. The multiplication table and Cayley diagram are shown below. y e φ φ 3 φ 4 e φ e e φ φ 3 φ 4 φ φ 3 φ 4 φ φ 3 φ 4 e φ 4 φ 3 φ 4 e φ φ 3 φ e φ 3 φ φ x φ 3 Exercise Show that α = + 3 is a primitive element of F, i.e., Q(α) = Q(, 3). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

31 The Galois group acts on the roots Theorem If f Z[x] is a polynomial with a root in a field extension F of Q, then any automorphism of F permutes the roots of f. Said differently, we have a group action of Gal(f (x)) on the set S = {r 1,..., r n} of roots of f (x). That is, we have a homomorphism ψ : Gal(f (x)) Perm({r 1,..., r n}). If φ Gal(f (x)), then ψ(φ) is a permutation of the roots of f (x). This permutation is what results by pressing the φ-button it permutes the roots of f (x) via the automorphism φ of the splitting field of f (x). Corollary If the degree of f Z[x] is n, then the Galois group of f is a subgroup of S n. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

32 The Galois group acts on the roots The next results says that Q can t tell apart the roots of an irreducible polynomial. The One orbit theorem Let r 1 and r be roots of an irreducible polynomial over Q. Then (a) There is an isomorphism φ: Q(r 1) Q(r ) that fixes Q and with φ(r 1) = r. (b) This remains true when Q is replaced with any extension field F, where Q F C. Corollary If f (x) is irreducible over Q, then for any two roots r 1 and r of f (x), the Galois group Gal(f (x)) contains an automorphism φ: r 1 r. In other words, if f (x) is irreducible, then the action of Gal(f (x)) on the set S = {r 1,..., r n} of roots has only one orbit. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

33 Normal field extensions Definition An extension field E of F is normal if it is the splitting field of some polynomial f (x). If E is a normal extension over F, then every irreducible polynomial over F [x] that has a root in E splits over F. Thus, if you can find an irreducible polynomial that has one root, but not all of its roots in E, then E is not a normal extension. Normal extension theorem The degree of a normal extension is the order of its Galois group. Corollary The order of the Galois group of a polynomial f (x) is the degree of the extension of its splitting field over Q. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

34 Normal field extensions: Examples Consider Q(ζ, 3 ) = Q(α), the splitting field of f (x) = x 3. It is also the splitting field of m(x) = x , the minimal polynomial of α = 3 3. Let s see which of its intermediate subfields are normal extensions of Q. Q: Trivially normal. Q(ζ, 3 ) 3 Q( 3 ) Q(ζ 3 ) Q(ζ 3 ) Q(ζ) Q Q(ζ): Splitting field of x + x + 1; roots are ζ, ζ Q(ζ). Normal. Q( 3 ): Contains only one root of x 3, not the other two. Not normal. Q(ζ 3 ): Contains only one root of x 3, not the other two. Not normal. Q(ζ 3 ): Contains only one root of x 3, not the other two. Not normal. Q(ζ, 3 ): Splitting field of x 3. Normal. By the normal extension theorem, Gal(Q(ζ)) = [Q(ζ) : Q] =, Gal(Q(ζ, 3 )) = [Q(ζ, 3 ) : Q] = 6. Moreover, you can check that Gal(Q( 3 )) = 1 < [Q( 3 ) : Q] = 3. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

35 The Galois group of x 3 We can now conclusively determine the Galois group of x 3. By definition, the Galois group of a polynomial is the Galois group of its splitting field, so Gal(x 3 ) = Gal(Q(ζ, 3 )). By the normal extension theorem, the order of the Galois group of f (x) is the degree of the extension of its splitting field: Gal(Q(ζ, 3 )) = [Q(ζ, 3 ) : Q] = 6. Since the Galois group acts on the roots of x 3, it must be a subgroup of S 3 = D3. There is only one subgroup of S 3 of order 6, so Gal(x 3 ) = S 3. Here is the action diagram of Gal(x 3 ) acting on the set S = {r 1, r, r 3} of roots of x 3 : r : ζ { r : 3 ζ 3 y ζ r r { f : 3 3 f : ζ ζ r 3 f r 1 x M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

36 Paris, May 31, 183 The night before a duel that Évariste Galois knew he would lose, the 0-year-old stayed up late preparing his mathematical findings in a letter to Auguste Chevalier. Hermann Weyl ( ) said This letter, if judged by the novelty and profundity of ideas it contains, is perhaps the most substantial piece of writing in the whole literature of mankind. Fundamental theorem of Galois theory Given f Z[x], let F be the splitting field of f, and G the Galois group. Then the following hold: (a) The subgroup lattice of G is identical to the subfield lattice of F, but upside-down. Moreover, H G if and only if the corresponding subfield is a normal extension of Q. (b) Given an intermediate field Q K F, the corresponding subgroup H < G contains precisely those automorphisms that fix K. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

37 An example: the Galois correspondence for f (x) = x 3 Q(ζ, 3 ) D 3 3 Q( 3 ) Q(ζ 3 ) Q(ζ ) r 3 Q(ζ) f rf r 3 f Q e Subfield lattice of Q(ζ, 3 ) Subgroup lattice of Gal(Q(ζ, 3 )) = D 3. The automorphisms that fix Q are precisely those in D 3. The automorphisms that fix Q(ζ) are precisely those in r. The automorphisms that fix Q( 3 ) are precisely those in f. The automorphisms that fix Q(ζ 3 ) are precisely those in rf. The automorphisms that fix Q(ζ 3 ) are precisely those in r f. The automorphisms that fix Q(ζ, 3 ) are precisely those in e. The normal field extensions of Q are: Q, Q(ζ), and Q(ζ, 3 ). The normal subgroups of D 3 are: D 3, r and e. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

38 Solvability Definition A group G is solvable if it has a chain of subgroups: {e} = N 0 N 1 N N k 1 N k = G. such that each quotient N i /N i 1 is abelian. Note: Each subgroup N i need not be normal in G, just in N i+1. Examples D 4 = r, f is solvable. There are many possible chains: e f r, f D 4, e r D 4, e r D 4. Any abelian group A is solvable: take N 0 = {e} and N 1 = A. For n 5, the group A n is simple and non-abelian. Thus, the only chain of normal subgroups is N 0 = {e} A n = N 1. Since N 1/N 0 = An is non-abelian, A n is not solvable for n 5. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

39 Some more solvable groups D 3 = S3 is solvable: {e} r D 3. D 3 = r, f D 3 r = C, abelian G Q 4 = C3, abelian Q 4 G C 6 C 6 C 6 C 6 f rf r f r Q 4 C = V4, abelian V 4 V 4 V 4 C 3 C 3 C 3 C 3 C {e} r {e} = C 3, abelian C {e} = C, abelian {e} The group above at right has order 4, and is the smallest solvable group that requires a three-step chain of normal subgroups. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

40 The hunt for an unsolvable polynomial The following lemma follows from the Correspondence Theorem. (Why?) Lemma If N G, then G is solvable if and only if both N and G/N are solvable. Corollary S n is not solvable for all n 5. (Since A n S n is not solvable). Galois theorem A field extension E Q contains only elements expressible by radicals if and only if its Galois group is solvable. Corollary If f (x) is solvable by radicals, then it has a solvable Galois group. Thus, any polynomial with Galois group S 5 is not solvable by radicals! M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

41 An unsolvable quintic! To find a polynomial not solvable by radicals, we ll look for a polynomial f (x) with Gal(f (x)) = S 5. We ll restrict our search to degree-5 polynomials, because Gal(f (x)) S 5 for any degree-5 polynomial f (x). Key observation Recall that for any 5-cycle σ and -cycle (=transposition) τ, S 5 = σ, τ. Moreover, the only elements in S 5 of order 5 are 5-cycles, e.g., σ = (a b c d e). Let f (x) = x x 4. It is irreducible by Eisenstein s criterion (use p = ). Let F = Q(r 1,..., r 5) be its splitting field. Basic calculus tells us that f exactly has 3 real roots. Let r 1, r = a ± bi be the complex roots, and r 3, r 4, and r 5 be the real roots. Since f has distinct complex conjugate roots, complex conjugation is an automorphism τ : F F that transposes r 1 with r, and fixes the three real roots. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

42 An unsolvable quintic! We just found our transposition τ = (r 1 r ). All that s left is to find an element (i.e., an automorphism) σ of order 5. Take any root r i of f (x). Since f (x) is irreducible, it is the minimal polynomial of r i. By the Degree Theorem, [Q(r i ) : Q] = deg(minimum polynomial of r i ) = deg f (x) = 5. The splitting field of f (x) is F = Q(r 1,..., r 5), and by the normal extension theorem, the degree of this extension over Q is the order of the Galois group Gal(f (x)). Applying the tower law to this yields Gal(f (x)) = [Q(r 1, r, r 3, r 4, r 5) : Q] = [Q(r 1, r, r 3, r 4, r 5) : Q(r 1)] [Q(r 1) : Q] }{{} =5 Thus, Gal(f (x)) is a multiple of 5, so Cauchy s theorem guarantees that G has an element σ of order 5. Since Gal(f (x)) has a -cycle τ and a 5-cycle σ, it must be all of S 5. Gal(f (x)) is an unsolvable group, so f (x) = x x 4 is unsolvable by radicals! M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

43 Summary of Galois work Let f (x) be a degree-n polynomial in Z[x] (or Q[x]). The roots of f (x) lie in some splitting field F Q. The Galois group of f (x) is the automorphism group of F. Every such automorphism fixes Q and permutes the roots of f (x). This is a group action of Gal(f (x)) on the set of n roots! Thus, Gal(f (x)) S n. There is a 1 1 correspondence between subfields of F and subgroups of Gal(f (x)). A polynomial is solvable by radicals iff its Galois group is a solvable group. The symmetric group S 5 is not a solvable group. Since S 5 = τ, σ for a -cycle τ and 5-cycle σ, all we need to do is find a degree-5 polynomial whose Galois group contains a -cycle and an element of order 5. If f (x) is an irreducible degree-5 polynomial with 3 real roots, then complex conjugation is an automorphism that transposes the complex roots. Moreover, Cauchy s theorem tells us that Gal(f (x)) must have an element of order 5. Thus, f (x) = x x 4 is not solvable by radicals! M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 11: Galois theory Math 410, Spring / 43

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