In

_{''C''}(''X''), or simply Aut(''X'') if the category is clear from context.

_{2}.
* In

^{−1}''ga''; usage varies). One can easily check that conjugation by ''a'' is a group automorphism. The inner automorphisms form a

''Automorphism'' at Encyclopaedia of Mathematics

* {{MathWorld , urlname=Automorphism , title = Automorphism Morphisms Abstract algebra Symmetry

mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...

, an automorphism is an isomorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

from a mathematical object
A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in whi ...

to itself. It is, in some sense, a symmetry
Symmetry (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek
Greek may refer to:
Greece
Anything of, from, or related to Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

of the object, and a way of mapping
Mapping may refer to:
* Mapping (cartography), the process of making a map
* Mapping (mathematics), a synonym for a mathematical function and its generalizations
** Mapping (logic), a synonym for functional predicate
Types of mapping
* Animated ...

the object to itself while preserving all of its structure. The set of all automorphisms of an object forms a group
A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together.
Groups of people
* Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity
* Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic ident ...

, called the automorphism group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

. It is, loosely speaking, the symmetry group
In group theory
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their chang ...

of the object.
Definition

In the context ofabstract algebra
In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), rings, field (mathema ...

, a mathematical object is an algebraic structure
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

such as a group
A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together.
Groups of people
* Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity
* Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic ident ...

, ring
Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to:
*Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck
Ring may also refer to:
Sounds
* Ri ...

, or vector space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

. An automorphism is simply a bijective
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

homomorphism
In algebra
Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...

of an object with itself. (The definition of a homomorphism depends on the type of algebraic structure; see, for example, group homomorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

, ring homomorphism
In ring theory
In algebra
Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical an ...

, and linear operator
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

).
The identity morphism
In mathematics, particularly in category theory, a morphism is a structure-preserving Map (mathematics), map from one mathematical structure to another one of the same type. The notion of morphism recurs in much of contemporary mathematics. In set ...

(identity mapping
Graph of the identity function on the real numbers
In mathematics, an identity function, also called an identity relation, identity map or identity transformation, is a function (mathematics), function that always returns the same value that was ...

) is called the trivial automorphism in some contexts. Respectively, other (non-identity) automorphisms are called nontrivial automorphisms.
The exact definition of an automorphism depends on the type of "mathematical object" in question and what, precisely, constitutes an "isomorphism" of that object. The most general setting in which these words have meaning is an abstract branch of mathematics called category theory
Category theory formalizes mathematical structure
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ...

. Category theory deals with abstract objects and morphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

s between those objects.
In category theory, an automorphism is an endomorphism
In mathematics, an endomorphism is a morphism from a mathematical object to itself. An endomorphism that is also an isomorphism is an automorphism. For example, an endomorphism of a vector space is a linear map , and an endomorphism of a group ...

(i.e., a morphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

from an object to itself) which is also an isomorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

(in the categorical sense of the word).
This is a very abstract definition since, in category theory, morphisms are not necessarily functions
Function or functionality may refer to:
Computing
* Function key
A function key is a key on a computer
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...

and objects are not necessarily sets. In most concrete settings, however, the objects will be sets with some additional structure and the morphisms will be functions preserving that structure.
Automorphism group

If the automorphisms of an object form a set (instead of a properclass
Class or The Class may refer to:
Common uses not otherwise categorized
* Class (biology), a taxonomic rank
* Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects
* Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently ...

), then they form a group
A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together.
Groups of people
* Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity
* Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic ident ...

under composition
Composition or Compositions may refer to:
Arts and literature
*Composition (dance)In dance, choreography is the act of designing dance
Dance is a performing art art form, form consisting of sequences of movement, either improvised or pur ...

of morphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

s. This group is called the automorphism group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

of .
; Closure: Composition of two automorphisms is another automorphism.
;Associativity
In mathematics, the associative property is a property of some binary operations, which means that rearranging the parentheses in an expression will not change the result. In propositional logic, associativity is a Validity (logic), valid rule ...

: It is part of the definition of a category
Category, plural categories, may refer to:
Philosophy and general uses
*Categorization
Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as O ...

that composition of morphisms is associative.
;Identity
Identity may refer to:
Social sciences
* Identity (social science)
Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person (self-identity
One's self-concept (also called self-construction, se ...

: The identity is the identity morphism from an object to itself, which is an automorphism.
; Inverses: By definition every isomorphism has an inverse which is also an isomorphism, and since the inverse is also an endomorphism of the same object it is an automorphism.
The automorphism group of an object ''X'' in a category ''C'' is denoted AutExamples

* Inset theory
Set theory is the branch of mathematical logic that studies Set (mathematics), sets, which can be informally described as collections of objects. Although objects of any kind can be collected into a set, set theory, as a branch of mathematics, i ...

, an arbitrary permutation
In , a permutation of a is, loosely speaking, an arrangement of its members into a or , or if the set is already ordered, a rearrangement of its elements. The word "permutation" also refers to the act or process of changing the linear order o ...

of the elements of a set ''X'' is an automorphism. The automorphism group of ''X'' is also called the symmetric group on ''X''.
* In elementary arithmetic
Elementary arithmetic is the simplified portion of arithmetic that includes the operations of addition, subtraction
Subtraction is an arithmetic operation that represents the operation of removing objects from a collection. Subtraction is sig ...

, the set of integer
An integer (from the Latin
Latin (, or , ) is a classical language
A classical language is a language
A language is a structured system of communication
Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to ...

s, Z, considered as a group under addition, has a unique nontrivial automorphism: negation. Considered as a ring, however, it has only the trivial automorphism. Generally speaking, negation is an automorphism of any abelian group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

, but not of a ring or field.
* A group automorphism is a group isomorphism
In abstract algebra, a group isomorphism is a Function (mathematics), function between two Group (mathematics), groups that sets up a one-to-one correspondence between the elements of the groups in a way that respects the given group operations. If ...

from a group to itself. Informally, it is a permutation of the group elements such that the structure remains unchanged. For every group ''G'' there is a natural group homomorphism ''G'' → Aut(''G'') whose image
An image (from la, imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception
Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment (biophysical), environment through photopic vision (daytime vision), color vision, sco ...

is the group Inn(''G'') of inner automorphism
In abstract algebra
In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ...

s and whose kernel
Kernel may refer to:
Computing
* Kernel (operating system), the central component of most operating systems
* Kernel (image processing), a matrix used for image convolution
* Compute kernel, in GPGPU programming
* Kernel method, in machine learnin ...

is the center
Center or centre may refer to:
Mathematics
*Center (geometry)
In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the spe ...

of ''G''. Thus, if ''G'' has trivial
Trivia is information and data that are considered to be of little value. It can be contrasted with general knowledge and common sense.
Latin meaning and etymology
The ''trivia'' (singular ''trivium'') are three lower ''Liberal arts educatio ...

center it can be embedded into its own automorphism group.
* In linear algebra
Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as:
:a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b,
linear maps such as:
:(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n,
and their representations in vector spaces and through matrix (mat ...

, an endomorphism of a vector space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

''V'' is a linear operator
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

''V'' → ''V''. An automorphism is an invertible linear operator on ''V''. When the vector space is finite-dimensional, the automorphism group of ''V'' is the same as the general linear group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...

, GL(''V''). (The algebraic structure of all endomorphisms of ''V'' is itself an algebra over the same base field as ''V'', whose invertible elements precisely consist of GL(''V'').)
* A field automorphism is a bijective
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

ring homomorphism
In ring theory
In algebra
Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical an ...

from a field
Field may refer to:
Expanses of open ground
* Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes
* Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport
* Battlefield
* Lawn, an area of mowed grass
* Meadow, a grassl ...

to itself. In the cases of the rational number
In mathematics, a rational number is a number that can be expressed as the quotient or fraction (mathematics), fraction of two integers, a numerator and a non-zero denominator . For example, is a rational number, as is every integer (e.g. ) ...

s (Q) and the real number
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...

s (R) there are no nontrivial field automorphisms. Some subfields of R have nontrivial field automorphisms, which however do not extend to all of R (because they cannot preserve the property of a number having a square root in R). In the case of the complex number
In mathematics, a complex number is an element of a number system that contains the real numbers and a specific element denoted , called the imaginary unit, and satisfying the equation . Moreover, every complex number can be expressed in the for ...

s, C, there is a unique nontrivial automorphism that sends R into R: complex conjugation
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

, but there are infinitely (uncountably
In mathematics, an uncountable set (or uncountably infinite set) is an infinite set that contains too many Element (mathematics), elements to be countable set, countable. The uncountability of a set is closely related to its cardinal number: a se ...

) many "wild" automorphisms (assuming the axiom of choice
In mathematics, the axiom of choice, or AC, is an axiom of set theory equivalent to the statement that ''a Cartesian product#Infinite Cartesian products, Cartesian product of a collection of non-empty sets is non-empty''. Informally put, the a ...

). Field automorphisms are important to the theory of field extension
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

s, in particular Galois extension In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and the ...

s. In the case of a Galois extension ''L''/''K'' the subgroup
In group theory
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ...

of all automorphisms of ''L'' fixing ''K'' pointwise is called the Galois group
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

of the extension.
* The automorphism group of the quaternion
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

s (H) as a ring are the inner automorphisms, by the Skolem–Noether theorem In ring theory, a branch of mathematics, the Skolem–Noether theorem characterizes the automorphisms of simple rings. It is a fundamental result in the theory of central simple algebras.
The theorem was first published by Thoralf Skolem in 1927 in ...

: maps of the form . This group is isomorphic
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

to SO(3)
In mechanics
Mechanics (Greek
Greek may refer to:
Greece
Anything of, from, or related to Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximatel ...

, the group of rotations in 3-dimensional space.
* The automorphism group of the octonions
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

(O) is the exceptional
Exception, exceptions or expectional may refer to:
* Exception (song), "Exception" (song), by Ana Johnsson
* ''The Exception'', a 2016 British film
*Exception (computer science), an anomalous condition during computation
* The Exceptions, a German ...

Lie group Ggraph theory
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...

an automorphism of a graph is a permutation of the nodes that preserves edges and non-edges. In particular, if two nodes are joined by an edge, so are their images under the permutation.
* In geometry
Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mat ...

, an automorphism may be called a motion
Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position
In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position (mathematics), position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of Displacem ...

of the space. Specialized terminology is also used:
** In metric geometry
In mathematics, a metric space is a non empty Set (mathematics), set together with a Metric (mathematics)#Definition, metric on the set. The metric is a function (mathematics), function that defines a concept of ''distance'' between any two Elemen ...

an automorphism is a self-isometry
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

. The automorphism group is also called the isometry group In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and the ...

.
** In the category of Riemann surface
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

s, an automorphism is a biholomorphic map (also called a conformal map
In mathematics, a conformal map is a function (mathematics), function that locally preserves angles, but not necessarily lengths.
More formally, let U and V be open subsets of \mathbb^n. A function f:U\to V is called conformal (or angle-pres ...

), from a surface to itself. For example, the automorphisms of the Riemann sphere
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

are Möbius transformation
In geometry and complex analysis, a Möbius transformation of the complex plane is a rational function of the form
f(z) = \frac
of one complex number, complex variable ''z''; here the coefficients ''a'', ''b'', ''c'', ''d'' are complex numbers sa ...

s.
** An automorphism of a differentiable manifold
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

''M'' is a diffeomorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

from ''M'' to itself. The automorphism group is sometimes denoted Diff(''M'').
** In topology
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities ...

, morphisms between topological spaces are called continuous maps, and an automorphism of a topological space is a homeomorphism
In the mathematical
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantiti ...

of the space to itself, or self-homeomorphism (see homeomorphism group In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and the ...

). In this example it is ''not sufficient'' for a morphism to be bijective to be an isomorphism.
History

One of the earliest group automorphisms (automorphism of a group, not simply a group of automorphisms of points) was given by the Irish mathematicianWilliam Rowan Hamilton
Sir William Rowan Hamilton LL.D, DCL, MRIA (4 August 1805 – 2 September 1865) was an Irish mathematician, Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin
, name_Latin = Collegium Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis Reg ...

in 1856, in his icosian calculus
The icosian calculus is a non-commutative algebraic structure
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and sp ...

, where he discovered an order two automorphism, writing:
so that $\backslash mu$ is a new fifth root of unity, connected with the former fifth root $\backslash lambda$ by relations of perfect reciprocity.

Inner and outer automorphisms

In some categories—notablygroups
A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together.
Groups of people
* Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity
* Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic ident ...

, rings
Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to:
*Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck
Ring may also refer to:
Sounds
* Ri ...

, and Lie algebra
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

s—it is possible to separate automorphisms into two types, called "inner" and "outer" automorphisms.
In the case of groups, the inner automorphism
In abstract algebra
In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ...

s are the conjugations by the elements of the group itself. For each element ''a'' of a group ''G'', conjugation by ''a'' is the operation given by (or ''a''normal subgroup
In abstract algebra
In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ...

of Aut(''G''), denoted by Inn(''G''); this is called Goursat's lemma
Goursat's lemma, named after the France, French mathematician Édouard Goursat, is an algebraic theorem about subgroups of the Direct product of groups, direct product of two Group (mathematics), groups.
It can be stated more generally in a Goursa ...

.
The other automorphisms are called outer automorphism In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and the ...

s. The quotient group
A quotient group or factor group is a mathematical group (mathematics), group obtained by aggregating similar elements of a larger group using an equivalence relation that preserves some of the group structure (the rest of the structure is "factore ...

is usually denoted by Out(''G''); the non-trivial elements are the cosets
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

that contain the outer automorphisms.
The same definition holds in any unital ring
Ring most commonly refers either to a hollow circular shape or to a high-pitched sound. It thus may refer to:
*Ring (jewellery), a circular, decorative or symbolic ornament worn on fingers, toes, arm or neck
Ring may also refer to:
Sounds
* Ri ...

or algebra
Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In its most ge ...

where ''a'' is any invertible element
In the branch of abstract algebra known as ring theory, a unit of a ring (mathematics), ring R is any element u \in R that has a multiplicative inverse in R: an element v \in R such that
:vu = uv = 1,
where is the multiplicative identity. The ...

. For Lie algebra
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

s the definition is slightly different.
See also

*Antiautomorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

* Automorphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

(in Sudoku puzzles)
* Characteristic subgroup
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

* Endomorphism ring In mathematics, the endomorphisms of an abelian group ''X'' form a ring. This ring is called the endomorphism ring ''X'', denoted by End(''X''); the set of all homomorphisms of ''X'' into itself. Addition of endomorphisms arises naturally in a Point ...

* Frobenius automorphism
In commutative algebra and field theory (mathematics), field theory, the Frobenius endomorphism (after Ferdinand Georg Frobenius) is a special endomorphism of commutative Ring (mathematics), rings with prime characteristic (algebra), characteristi ...

* Morphism
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

* Order automorphism (in order theory
Order theory is a branch of mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geom ...

).
* Relation-preserving automorphism
* Fractional Fourier transform
References

External links

''Automorphism'' at Encyclopaedia of Mathematics

* {{MathWorld , urlname=Automorphism , title = Automorphism Morphisms Abstract algebra Symmetry