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We obtain upper bounds on the composition length of a finite permutation group in terms of the degree and the number of orbits, and analogous bounds for primitive, quasiprimitive and semiprimitive groups. Similarly, we obtain upper bounds on the composition length of a finite completely reducible linear group in terms of some of its parameters. In almost all cases we show that the bounds are sharp, and describe the extremal examples.
Let G be a transitive permutation group of degree n. We say that G is 2'-elusive if n is divisible by an odd prime, but G does not contain a derangement of odd prime order. In this paper we study the structure of quasiprimitive and biquasiprimitive 20-elusive permutation groups, extending earlier work of Giudici and Xu on elusive groups. As an application, we use our results to investigate automorphisms of finite arc-transitive graphs of prime valency.
Let $F$ be a field and let $F^{r\times s}$ denote the space of $r\times s$ matrices over $F$. Given equinumerous subsets $\mathcal{A}=\{A_i\mid i \in I\}\subseteq F^{r\times r}$ and $\mathcal{B}=\{B_i\mid i\in I\}\subseteq F^{s\times s}$ we call the subspace $C(\mathcal{A},\mathcal{B}):=\{X\in F^{r\times s}\mid A_iX=XB_i\ {\rm for }\ i\in I\}$ an \emph{intertwining code}. We show that if $C(\mathcal{A},\mathcal{B})\ne\{0\}$, then for each $i\in I$, the characteristic polynomials of $A_i$ and ...
Given a field $F$, a scalar $\lambda\in F$ and a matrix $A\in F^{n\times n}$, the twisted centralizer code $C_F(A,\lambda):=\{B\in F^{n\times n}\mid AB-\lambda BA=0\}$ is a linear code of length $n^2$. When $A$ is cyclic and $\lambda\ne0$ we prove that $\dim C_F(A,\lambda)=\mathrm{deg}(\gcd(c_A(t),\lambda^n c_A(\lambda^{-1}t)))$ where $c_A(t)$ denotes the characteristic polynomial of $A$. We also show how $C_F(A,\lambda)$ decomposes, and we estimate the probability that $C_F(A,\lambda)$ is no...
Let $G$ be a permutation group on a set $\Omega$. A subset of $\Omega$ is a base for $G$ if its pointwise stabiliser in $G$ is trivial. In this paper we introduce and study an associated graph $\Sigma(G)$, which we call the Saxl graph of $G$. The vertices of $\Sigma(G)$ are the points of $\Omega$, and two vertices are adjacent if they form a base for $G$. This graph encodes some interesting properties of the permutation group. We investigate the connectivity of $\Sigma(G)$ for a finite transi...
Let $p$ be an odd prime and let $G$ be a non-abelian finite $p$-group of exponent $p^2$ with three distinct characteristic subgroups, namely $1$, $G^p$, and $G$. The quotient group $G/G^p$ gives rise to an anti-commutative ${\mathbb F}_p$-algebra $L$ such that the action of ${\rm Aut}(L)$ is irreducible on $L$; we call such an algebra IAC. This paper establishes a duality $G\leftrightarrow L$ between such groups and such IAC algebras. We prove that IAC algebras are semisimple and we classify ...
Let $T$ be a finite simple group of Lie type in characteristic $p$, and let $S$ be a Sylow subgroup of $T$ with maximal order. It is well known that $S$ is a Sylow $p$-subgroup except in an explicit list of exceptions, and that $S$ is always `large' in the sense that $|T|^{1/3} < |S| \leqslant |T|^{1/2}$. One might anticipate that, moreover, the Sylow $r$-subgroups of $T$ with $r \neq p$ are usually significantly smaller than $S$. We verify this hypothesis by proving that for every $T$ and ev...
It is shown that a flat subgroup, $H$, of the totally disconnected, locally compact group $G$ decomposes into a finite number of subsemigroups on which the scale function is multiplicative. The image, $P$, of a multiplicative semigroup in the quotient, $H/H(1)$, of $H$ by its uniscalar subgroup has a unique minimal generating set which determines a natural Cayley graph structure on $P$. For each compact, open subgroup $U$ of $G$, a graph is defined and it is shown that if $P$ is multiplicativ...
A good knowledge of the Jordan canonical form (JCF) for a tensor product of `Jordan blocks' is key to understanding the actions of $p$-groups of matrices in characteristic $p$. The JCF corresponds to a certain partition which depends on the characteristic $p$, and the study of these partitions dates back to Aitken's work in 1934. Equivalently each JCF corresponds to a certain permutation $\pi$ introduced by Norman in 1995. These permutations $\pi = \pi(r,s,p)$ depend on the dimensions $r$, $s...
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