nLab Galois group


see at Galois theory for more


Homotopy theory

homotopy theory, (∞,1)-category theory, homotopy type theory

flavors: stable, equivariant, rational, p-adic, proper, geometric, cohesive, directed

models: topological, simplicial, localic, …

see also algebraic topology



Paths and cylinders

Homotopy groups

Basic facts


Group Theory



Given a field extension one can consider the corresponding automorphism group. The main statement of Galois theory is that, when the field extension is Galois, this group is called the Galois group and its subgroups correspond to subextensions of the field extension.

In algebraic geometry, Grothendieck defined an analogue of the Galois group called the etale fundamental group of a connected scheme.

Even more generally there is an analogue of the Galois group in stable homotopy theory. In fact one can define the Galois group of any presentable symmetric monoidal stable (infinity,1)-category, and there is an analogue of the Galois correspondence. In particular one gets a Galois group associated to an E-infinity ring spectrum. One recovers the Galois group of a scheme as the Galois group of its derived category of quasi-coherent sheaves.



Let KLK\hookrightarrow L denote a Galois field extension, then the automorphism group

Gal(KL):=Aut K(L)Gal(K\hookrightarrow L):=Aut_K(L)

consisting just of those automorphisms of LL whose restriction to KK is the identity is called Galois group of the field extension KLK\hookrightarrow L.

Every Galois group Gal(KL)=lim KELGal(KE)Gal(K\hookrightarrow L)=lim_{K\hookrightarrow E\hookrightarrow L}Gal (K\hookrightarrow E) is a profinite topological group in that it is the limit of the topologically discrete Galois groups of the intermediate finite extensions between KK and LL.

The just defined Galois group is the one occurring in the classical Galois theory for fields. The analog of the Galois group in Galois theory for schemes is a fundamental group (of a scheme) and is rarely called a ‘’Galois group’’.

The Galois group Gal(KK s)Gal(K\hookrightarrow K_s) of the separable closure of KK is called the absolute Galois group of KK. In this case we have Gal(KK s)π 1(SpecK)Gal(K\hookrightarrow K_s)\simeq \pi_1(Spec\; K) is equivalent to the fundamental group of the scheme SpecKSpec K. In particular the notion of fundamental group (of a point of) a topos generalizes that of Galois group. This observation is the starting point and motivating example of Grothendieck's Galois theory and more generally of that of homotopy groups in an (infinity,1)-topos.

If the scheme, moreover, is a group scheme (i.e. endowed with a group structure) modules over the Galois group, which are called Galois modules, play an important role in algebraic number theory.


Relation to étale fundamental group

For KK a field, then the absolute Galois group of KK is equivalent to the étale fundamental group/algebraic fundamental group of the spectrum of KK.

π 1(Spec(K))Gal(K sep/K). \pi_1(Spec(K)) \simeq Gal(K_{sep}/K) \,.

If KK is a number field, write 𝒪 K\mathcal{O}_K for its ring of integers, so that Spec(𝒪 K)Spec(\mathcal{O}_K) is an arithmetic curve. Then

π 1(Spec(𝒪 K))Gal(K alg ur/K), \pi_1(Spec(\mathcal{O}_K)) \simeq Gal(K_{alg}^{ur}/K) \,,

where K alg urK_{alg}^{ur} is the maximal algebraic extension of KK that is unramified at all non-zero prime ideals (e.g. Lenstra 85, Example 1.12).

See also at Galois theory – Statement of the main theorem.

Relation to Frobenius maps

For KK a number field then the Frobenius maps induce canonical elements in the Galois group. See at Frobenius morphism – As elements of the Galois group.

This crucially enters the definition of Artin L-functions associated with Galois representations.



For the Galois group in stable homotopy theory, see

category: Galois theory

Last revised on September 6, 2023 at 15:29:52. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.