Definition:Orbit (Group Theory)

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This page is about the orbit of a group action. For other uses, see Definition:Orbit.


Let $G$ be a group acting on a set $X$.

The orbit of an element $x \in X$ is defined as:

$\Orb x := \set {y \in X: \exists g \in G: y = g * x}$

where $*$ denotes the group action.

That is, $\Orb x = G * x$.

Thus the orbit of an element is all its possible destinations under the group action.


The length of the orbit $\Orb x$ of $x$ is the number of elements of $X$ it contains:

$\size {\Orb x}$

Set of Orbits

The quotient set $X / \mathcal R_G$ is called the set of orbits of $X$ under the action of $G$.