Group structures on families of subsets of a group. (English) Zbl 1367.20028

Summary: A binary operation on any set induces a binary operation on its subsets. We explore families of subsets of a group that become a group under the induced operation and refer to such families as power groups of the given group. Our results serve to characterize some types of groups in terms of their power groups. In particular, we consider when the only power groups of a group are the factor groups of its subgroups and when that is the case up to isomorphism. We prove that the former are precisely those groups for which every element has finite order and provide examples to illustrate that the latter is not always the case. In the process we consider several natural questions such as whether the identity element of the group must belong to the identity element of a power group or the inverse of an element in a power group must consist of the inverses of its elements.


20E34 General structure theorems for groups
20E07 Subgroup theorems; subgroup growth
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