Finite Simple Groups
Date: 3/15/96 at 0:23:57 From: Anonymous Subject: What is the Monster? What is the Monster - large finite simple group - and why is it interesting?
Date: 3/24/96 at 15:51:23 From: Doctor Steven Subject: Re: What is the Monster? The classification of the finite simple groups has been basically what has driven the study of abstract algebra in the 20th century. The finite simple groups are: Z_p where p is prime - the integers modulo a prime. A_n where n > 5 - the alternating groups Lie algebras - I don't understand these Sporadic Groups - I don't understand these either, either, but the Monster is in here This classification was finished in the 1980's and covered over 15,000 pages of proofs. A serious effort, led by Daniel Gorenstein, is under way to condense this into a concise 3000-5000 page proof. The reason why the Monster is interesting is because it's the largest of the sporadic groups (hence the name), and several other sporadic groups can be determined by studying its structure. Also interesting is that this group was investigated by hand, while most other sporadic groups were found using very large computers running for very long times. Some more information can be gotten on the Monster, and finite simple groups in general, by reading this book: Mathematical Surveys and Monographs: The Classification of the Finite <i>Simple Groups</i> by Daniel Gorenstein, Lyons and Solomon, The American Mathematical Society, 1994. Hope this helps. -Doctor Steven, The Math Forum
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