In mathematics, more specifically in group theory, a Group (mathematics), group is said to be perfect if it equals its own commutator subgroup, or equivalently, if the group has no trivial group, non-trivial abelian group, abelian quotient group, quotients (equivalently, its abelianization, which is the universal abelian quotient, is trivial). In symbols, a perfect group is one such that ''G''(1) = ''G'' (the commutator subgroup equals the group), or equivalently one such that ''G''ab = (its abelianization is trivial).


The smallest (non-trivial) perfect group is the alternating group ''A''5. More generally, any non-abelian group, non-abelian simple group is perfect since the commutator subgroup is a normal subgroup with abelian quotient. Conversely, a perfect group need not be simple; for example, the special linear group over the field (mathematics), field with 5 elements, SL(2,5) (or the binary icosahedral group, which is group isomorphism, isomorphic to it) is perfect but not simple (it has a non-trivial center (group), center containing \left(\begin-1 & 0 \\ 0 & -1\end\right) = \left(\begin4 & 0 \\ 0 & 4\end\right)). The Direct product of groups, direct product of any two simple groups is perfect but not simple; the commutator of two elements is [(''a'',''b''),(''c'',''d'')] = ([''a'',''c''],[''b'',''d'']). Since commutators in each simple group form a generating set, pairs of commutators form a generating set of the direct product. More generally, a quasisimple group (a perfect Central extension (mathematics), central extension of a simple group) that is a non-trivial extension (and therefore not a simple group itself) is perfect but not simple; this includes all the soluble group, insoluble non-simple finite special linear groups SL(''n'',''q'') as extensions of the projective special linear group PSL(''n'',''q'') (SL(2,5) is an extension of PSL(2,5), which is isomorphic to ''A''5). Similarly, the special linear group over the real number, real and complex number, complex numbers is perfect, but the general linear group GL is never perfect (except when trivial or over \mathbb_2, where it equals the special linear group), as the determinant gives a non-trivial abelianization and indeed the commutator subgroup is SL. A non-trivial perfect group, however, is necessarily not solvable group, solvable; and 4 divisor, divides its order (group theory), order (if finite), moreover, if 8 does not divide the order, then 3 does. Every acyclic group is perfect, but the converse is not true: ''A''5 is perfect but not acyclic (in fact, not even Superperfect group, superperfect), see . In fact, for n\ge 5 the alternating group A_n is perfect but not superperfect, with H_2(A_n,\Z) = \Z/2 for n \ge 8. Any quotient of a perfect group is perfect. A non-trivial finite perfect group that is not simple must then be an extension of at least one smaller simple non-abelian group. But it can be the extension of more than one simple group. In fact, the direct product of perfect groups is also perfect. Every perfect group ''G'' determines another perfect group ''E'' (its universal central extension) together with a surjection ''f'': ''E'' → ''G'' whose kernel (algebra), kernel is in the center of ''E,'' such that ''f'' is universal with this property. The kernel of ''f'' is called the Schur multiplier of ''G'' because it was first studied by Issai Schur in 1904; it is isomorphic to the homology group H_2(G). In the plus construction of algebraic K-theory, if we consider the group \operatorname(A) = \text \operatorname_n(A) for a commutative ring A, then the subgroup of elementary matrices E(R) forms a perfect subgroup.

Ore's conjecture

As the commutator subgroup is ''generated'' by commutators, a perfect group may contain elements that are products of commutators but not themselves commutators. Øystein Ore proved in 1951 that the alternating groups on five or more elements contained only commutators, and conjectured that this was so for all the finite non-abelian simple groups. Ore's conjecture was finally proven in 2008. The proof relies on the classification of finite simple groups, classification theorem.

Grün's lemma

A basic fact about perfect groups is Grün's lemma from : the quotient group, quotient of a perfect group by its center (group theory), center is centerless (has trivial center).
Proof: If ''G'' is a perfect group, let ''Z''1 and ''Z''2 denote the first two terms of the Central series#Upper central series, upper central series of ''G'' (i.e., ''Z''1 is the center of ''G'', and ''Z''2/''Z''1 is the center of ''G''/''Z''1). If ''H'' and ''K'' are subgroups of ''G'', denote the commutator of ''H'' and ''K'' by [''H'', ''K''] and note that [''Z''1, ''G''] = 1 and [''Z''2, ''G''] ⊆ ''Z''1, and consequently (the convention that [''X'', ''Y'', ''Z''] = ''X'', ''Y''], ''Z''] is followed): :[Z_2,G,G]=Z_2,G],G]\subseteq [Z_1,G]=1 :[G,Z_2,G]=G,Z_2],G]=Z_2,G],G]\subseteq [Z_1,G]=1. By the three subgroups lemma (or equivalently, by the Commutator#Identities (group theory), Hall-Witt identity), it follows that [''G'', ''Z''2] = ''G'', ''G''], ''Z''2] = [''G'', ''G'', ''Z''2] = . Therefore, ''Z''2 ⊆ ''Z''1 = ''Z''(''G''), and the center of the quotient group ''G'' / ''Z''(''G'') is the trivial group.
As a consequence, all Center (group theory)#Higher centers, higher centers (that is, higher terms in the upper central series) of a perfect group equal the center.

Group homology

In terms of group homology, a perfect group is precisely one whose first homology group vanishes: ''H''1(''G'', Z) = 0, as the first homology group of a group is exactly the abelianization of the group, and perfect means trivial abelianization. An advantage of this definition is that it admits strengthening: * A superperfect group is one whose first two homology groups vanish: H_1(G,\Z)=H_2(G,\Z)=0. * An acyclic group is one ''all'' of whose (reduced) homology groups vanish \tilde H_i(G;\Z) = 0. (This is equivalent to all homology groups other than H_0 vanishing.)

Quasi-perfect group

Especially in the field of algebraic K-theory, a group is said to be quasi-perfect if its commutator subgroup is perfect; in symbols, a quasi-perfect group is one such that ''G''(1) = ''G''(2) (the commutator of the commutator subgroup is the commutator subgroup), while a perfect group is one such that ''G''(1) = ''G'' (the commutator subgroup is the whole group). See and .



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External links

* * {{MathWorld, urlname=GruensLemma, title=Grün's lemma Properties of groups Lemmas