Galois extension

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In mathematics, a Galois extension is an algebraic field extension E/F that is normal and separable; or equivalently, E/F is algebraic, and the field fixed by the automorphism group Aut(E/F) is precisely the base field F. One says that such an extension is Galois. The significance of being a Galois extension is that the extension has a Galois group and obeys the fundamental theorem of Galois theory. [1]

A result of Emil Artin allows one to construct Galois extensions as follows: If E is a given field, and G is a finite group of automorphisms of E with fixed field F, then E/F is a Galois extension.

Characterization of Galois extensions[edit]

An important theorem of Emil Artin states that for a finite extension E/F, each of the following statements is equivalent to the statement that E/F is Galois:


Adjoining to the rational number field the square root of 2 gives a Galois extension, while adjoining the cube root of 2 gives a non-Galois extension. Both these extensions are separable, because they have characteristic zero. The first of them is the splitting field of X2 − 2; the second has normal closure that includes the complex cube roots of unity, and so is not a splitting field. In fact, it has no automorphism other than the identity, because it is contained in the real numbers and X3 − 2 has just one real root.

An algebraic closure \bar K of an arbitrary field K is Galois over K if and only if K is a perfect field.


  1. ^ See the article Galois group for definitions of some of these terms and some examples.

See also[edit]