# coset

Let $H$ be a subgroup   of a group $G$, and let $a\in G$. The of $a$ with respect to $H$ in $G$ is defined to be the set

 $aH:=\{ah\mid h\in H\}.$

The right coset of $a$ with respect to $H$ in $G$ is defined to be the set

 $Ha:=\{ha\mid h\in H\}.$

Two left cosets $aH$ and $bH$ of $H$ in $G$ are either identical or disjoint. Indeed, if $c\in aH\cap bH$, then $c=ah_{1}$ and $c=bh_{2}$ for some $h_{1},h_{2}\in H$, whence $b^{-1}a=h_{2}h_{1}^{-1}\in H$. But then, given any $ah\in aH$, we have $ah=(bb^{-1})ah=b(b^{-1}a)h\in bH$, so $aH\subset bH$, and similarly $bH\subset aH$. Therefore $aH=bH$.

Similarly, any two right cosets $Ha$ and $Hb$ of $H$ in $G$ are either identical or disjoint. Accordingly, the collection  of left cosets (or right cosets) partitions   the group $G$; the corresponding equivalence relation  for left cosets can be described succintly by the relation   $a\sim b$ if $a^{-1}b\in H$, and for right cosets by $a\sim b$ if $ab^{-1}\in H$.

The index of $H$ in $G$, denoted $[G:H]$, is the cardinality of the set $G/H$ of left cosets of $H$ in $G$.

Title coset Coset 2013-03-22 12:08:10 2013-03-22 12:08:10 djao (24) djao (24) 9 djao (24) Definition msc 20A05 index left coset right coset