# direct products of groups

Let $(G_{i})_{i\in I}$ be a family of groups.

The unrestricted direct product (or complete direct product, or Cartesian product) $\prod_{i\in I}G_{i}$ is the Cartesian product (http://planetmath.org/GeneralizedCartesianProduct) $\prod_{i\in I}G_{i}$ with multiplication  defined pointwise, that is, for all $f,g\in\prod_{i\in I}G_{i}$ and all $i\in I$ we have $(fg)(i)=f(i)g(i)$. It is easily verified that this multiplication makes the Cartesian product into a group. This construction is in fact the categorical direct product (http://planetmath.org/CategoricalDirectProduct) in the category of groups.

The restricted direct product  $\bigoplus_{i\in I}G_{i}$ is the subgroup   of $\prod_{i\in I}G_{i}$ consisting of all those elements with finite support. That is,

 $\bigoplus_{i\in I}G_{i}=\biggl{\{}f\in\prod_{i\in I}G_{i}\biggm{|}f(i)=1\hbox{% for all but finitely many }i\in I\biggr{\}}.$

The restricted direct product is also called the direct sum   , although this usage is usually reserved for the case where all the $G_{i}$ are abelian  (see direct sum of modules (http://planetmath.org/DirectSum) and categorical direct sum (http://planetmath.org/CategoricalDirectSum)).

The unqualified term direct product     can refer either to the unrestricted direct product or to the restricted direct product, depending on the author. Note that if $I$ is finite then the unrestricted direct product and the restricted direct product are in fact the same. The direct product of two groups $G$ and $H$ is usually written $G\times H$, or sometimes $G\oplus H$ (or $G\coprod H$) if $G$ and $H$ are both abelian.

 Title direct products of groups Canonical name DirectProductsOfGroups Date of creation 2013-03-22 14:52:54 Last modified on 2013-03-22 14:52:54 Owner yark (2760) Last modified by yark (2760) Numerical id 17 Author yark (2760) Entry type Definition Classification msc 20A99 Related topic SubdirectProductOfGroups Related topic DirectProduct2 Defines direct product Defines unrestricted direct product Defines complete direct product Defines restricted direct product Defines direct sum Defines direct product of groups Defines unrestricted direct product of groups Defines restricted direct product of groups Defines direct sum of groups Defines Cartesian product of g