- Periodic group
In

group theory inmathematics , a**periodic group**or a**torsion group**is a group in which each element has finite order. All finite groups are periodic. The concept of a periodic group should not be confused with that of acyclic group .The

**exponent**of a periodic group "G" is theleast common multiple , if it exists, of the orders of the elements of "G". Anyfinite group has an exponent: it is a divisor of |"G"|.Burnside's problem is a classical question, which deals with the relationship between periodic groups andfinite group s, if we assume only that "G" is afinitely-generated group . The question is whether specifying an exponent forces finiteness (to which the answer is 'no', in general).Infinite examples of periodic groups include the additive group of the ring of polynomials over a finite field, and the quotient group of the rationals by the integers, as well as their direct summands, the

Prüfer group s. None of these examples has a finite generating set. Explicit examples offinitely generated infinite periodic groups were constructed by Golod, based on joint work with Shafarevich, and by Aleshin and Grigorchuk using automata.**References*** E. S. Golod, "On nil-algebras and finitely approximable p-groups," Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR Ser. Mat.

**28**(1964) 273--276.

* N. V. Aleshin, "Finite automata and the Burnside problem for periodic groups," (Russian) Mat. Zametki**11**(1972), 319--328.

* R. I. Grigorchuk, "On Burnside's problem on periodic groups," Functional Anal. Appl.**14**(1980), no. 1, 41--43.

* R. I. Grigorchuk, "Degrees of growth of finitely generated groups and the theory of invariant means.", Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR Ser. Mat.**48:5**(1984), 939-985 (Russian).**External links***

PlanetMath articles on [*http://planetmath.org/encyclopedia/PeriodicGroup.html periodic groups*] and [*http://planetmath.org/encyclopedia/Exponent.html exponent*] .**ee also***

torsion (algebra)

*torsion subgroup

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