Faithful representation

In mathematics, especially in an area of abstract algebra known as representation theory, a faithful representation ρ of a group $G$ on a vector space $V$ is a linear representation in which different elements $g$ of $G$ are represented by distinct linear mappings $\rho (g)$ .

In more abstract language, this means that the group homomorphism

$\rho :G\to GL(V)$ is injective (or one-to-one).

Caveat: While representations of $G$ over a field $K$ are de facto the same as $K[G]$ -modules (with $K[G]$ denoting the group algebra of the group $G$ ), a faithful representation of $G$ is not necessarily a faithful module for the group algebra. In fact each faithful $K[G]$ -module is a faithful representation of $G$ , but the converse does not hold. Consider for example the natural representation of the symmetric group $S_{n}$ in $n$ dimensions by permutation matrices, which is certainly faithful. Here the order of the group is $n$ ! while the $n\times n$ matrices form a vector space of dimension $n^{2}$ . As soon as $n$ is at least 4, dimension counting means that some linear dependence must occur between permutation matrices (since $24>16$ ); this relation means that the module for the group algebra is not faithful.

Properties

A representation $V$  of a finite group $G$  over an algebraically closed field $K$  of characteristic zero is faithful (as a representation) if and only if every irreducible representation of $G$  occurs as a subrepresentation of $S^{n}V$  (the $n$ -th symmetric power of the representation $V$ ) for a sufficiently high $n$ . Also, $V$  is faithful (as a representation) if and only if every irreducible representation of $G$  occurs as a subrepresentation of

$V^{\otimes n}=\underbrace {V\otimes V\otimes \cdots \otimes V} _{n{\text{ times}}}$

(the $n$ -th tensor power of the representation $V$ ) for a sufficiently high $n$ .[citation needed]