A nontrivial abelian group $A$ is called divisible if for each element $a\in A$ and each nonzero integer $k$, there is an element $x \in A$ such that $x^k=a$.
(Here the group operation of $A$ is written multiplicatively. In additive notation, the equation is written as $kx=a$.) That is, $A$ is divisible if each element has a $k$-th root in $A$.

(a) Prove that the additive group of rational numbers $\Q$ is divisible.

(b) Prove that no finite abelian group is divisible.

(a) The additive group of rational numbers $\Q$ is divisible.

We know that $\Q$ is a nontrivial abelian group.
Let $a\in Q$ and $k$ be a nonzero integer.
Since $\Q$ is an additive group, we are seeking $x\in \Q$ such that
\[kx=a.\]

Since $k$ is a nonzero integer, we have a solution $x=a/k\in \Q$.
Thus $\Q$ is divisible.

(b) No finite abelian group id divisible.

Let $G$ be a finite abelian group of order $|G|=n$.
If $G$ is trivial, that is, $n=1$, then by definition, $G$ is not divisible.
So let us assume that $G$ is nontrivial.

We claim that $G$ is not divisible since there is no $n$-th root of a nonidentity element of $G$.
Let $a\in G$ be a nonidentity element of $G$.
(Such an element exists because $G$ is nontrivial.)

If there is $x\in G$ such that
\[x^n=a,\]
then by Lagrange’s theorem we have $x^n=e$, the identity element of $G$.
This implies that $a=e$, and this contradicts our choice of $a$.
Thus $G$ is not divisible.

Group of Order $pq$ is Either Abelian or the Center is Trivial
Let $G$ be a group of order $|G|=pq$, where $p$ and $q$ are (not necessarily distinct) prime numbers.
Then show that $G$ is either abelian group or the center $Z(G)=1$.
Hint.
Use the result of the problem "If the Quotient by the Center is Cyclic, then the Group is […]

Use Lagrange’s Theorem to Prove Fermat’s Little Theorem
Use Lagrange's Theorem in the multiplicative group $(\Zmod{p})^{\times}$ to prove Fermat's Little Theorem: if $p$ is a prime number then $a^p \equiv a \pmod p$ for all $a \in \Z$.
Before the proof, let us recall Lagrange's Theorem.
Lagrange's Theorem
If $G$ is a […]

Normal Subgroup Whose Order is Relatively Prime to Its Index
Let $G$ be a finite group and let $N$ be a normal subgroup of $G$.
Suppose that the order $n$ of $N$ is relatively prime to the index $|G:N|=m$.
(a) Prove that $N=\{a\in G \mid a^n=e\}$.
(b) Prove that $N=\{b^m \mid b\in G\}$.
Proof.
Note that as $n$ and […]

A Simple Abelian Group if and only if the Order is a Prime Number
Let $G$ be a group. (Do not assume that $G$ is a finite group.)
Prove that $G$ is a simple abelian group if and only if the order of $G$ is a prime number.
Definition.
A group $G$ is called simple if $G$ is a nontrivial group and the only normal subgroups of $G$ is […]

Normal Subgroups, Isomorphic Quotients, But Not Isomorphic
Let $G$ be a group. Suppose that $H_1, H_2, N_1, N_2$ are all normal subgroup of $G$, $H_1 \lhd N_2$, and $H_2 \lhd N_2$.
Suppose also that $N_1/H_1$ is isomorphic to $N_2/H_2$. Then prove or disprove that $N_1$ is isomorphic to $N_2$.
Proof.
We give a […]

A Subgroup of the Smallest Prime Divisor Index of a Group is Normal
Let $G$ be a finite group of order $n$ and suppose that $p$ is the smallest prime number dividing $n$.
Then prove that any subgroup of index $p$ is a normal subgroup of $G$.
Hint.
Consider the action of the group $G$ on the left cosets $G/H$ by left […]

Nontrivial Action of a Simple Group on a Finite Set
Let $G$ be a simple group and let $X$ be a finite set.
Suppose $G$ acts nontrivially on $X$. That is, there exist $g\in G$ and $x \in X$ such that $g\cdot x \neq x$.
Then show that $G$ is a finite group and the order of $G$ divides $|X|!$.
Proof.
Since $G$ acts on $X$, it […]

The Index of the Center of a Non-Abelian $p$-Group is Divisible by $p^2$
Let $p$ be a prime number.
Let $G$ be a non-abelian $p$-group.
Show that the index of the center of $G$ is divisible by $p^2$.
Proof.
Suppose the order of the group $G$ is $p^a$, for some $a \in \Z$.
Let $Z(G)$ be the center of $G$. Since $Z(G)$ is a subgroup of $G$, the order […]