Prove that the symmetric group $S_n$, $n\geq 3$ is a semi-direct product of the alternating group $A_n$ and the subgroup $\langle(1,2) \rangle$ generated by the element $(1,2)$.

An isomorphism from a group $G$ to itself is calledan automorphismof $G$.
The set of all automorphism is denoted by $\Aut(G)$.

Definition (characteristic subgroup).

A subgroup $H$ of a group $G$ is called characteristic in $G$ if for any $\phi \in \Aut(G)$, we have $\phi(H)=H$. In words, this means that each automorphism of $G$ maps $H$ to itself.

Prove the followings.

(a) If $H$ is characteristic in $G$, then $H$ is a normal subgroup of $G$.

(b) If $H$ is the unique subgroup of $G$ of a given order, then $H$ is characteristic in $G$.

(c) Suppose that a subgroup $K$ is characteristic in a group $H$ and $H$ is a normal subgroup of $G$. Then $K$ is a normal subgroup in $G$.