Definition:Center (Abstract Algebra)

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Definition

Group

The center of a group $G$, denoted $\map Z G$, is the subset of elements in $G$ that commute with every element in $G$.

Symbolically:

$\map Z G = \map {C_G} G = \set {g \in G: g x = x g, \forall x \in G}$


That is, the center of $G$ is the centralizer of $G$ in $G$ itself.


Ring

The center of a ring $\struct {R, +, \circ}$, denoted $\map Z R$, is the subset of elements in $R$ that commute with every element in $R$.

Symbolically:

$\map Z R = \map {C_R} R = \set {x \in R: \forall s \in R: s \circ x = x \circ s}$


That is, the center of $R$ is the centralizer of $R$ in $R$ itself.


It is clear that the center of a ring $\struct {R, +, \circ}$ can be defined as the center of the group $\struct {R, \circ}$.



Linguistic Note

The UK English spelling of this is centre.