The Irreducible Subgroups of the Exceptional Algebraic Groups

Adam Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This paper is a contribution to the study of the subgroup structure of exceptional algebraic groups over algebraically closed fields of arbitrary characteristic. Following Serre, a closed subgroup of a semisimple algebraic group G is called irreducible if it lies in no proper parabolic subgroup of G. In this paper we complete the classification of irreducible connected subgroups of exceptional algebraic groups, providing an explicit set of representatives for the conjugacy classes of such subgroups. Many consequences of this classification are also given. These include results concerning the representations of such subgroups on various G-modules: for example, the conjugacy classes of irreducible connected subgroups are determined by their composition factors on the adjoint module of G, with one exception. A result of Liebeck and Testerman shows that each irreducible connected subgroup X of G has only finitely many overgroups and hence the overgroups of X form a lattice. We provide tables that give representatives of each conjugacy class of connected overgroups within this lattice structure. We use this to prove results concerning the subgroup structure of G: for example, when the characteristic is 2, there exists a maximal connected subgroup of G containing a conjugate of every irreducible subgroup A1 of G.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMemoirs of the American Mathematical Society
Early online date20 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2017

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