In mathematics, a Frobenius group is a transitive permutation group on a finite set, such that no non-trivial element fixes more than one point and some non-trivial element fixes a point. They are named after F. G. Frobenius.


Suppose G is a Frobenius group consisting of permutations of a set X. A subgroup H of G fixing a point of X is called a Frobenius complement. The identity element together with all elements not in any conjugate of H form a normal subgroup called the Frobenius kernel K. (This is a theorem due to Frobenius (1901); there is still no proof of this theorem that does not use character theory, although see [1].) The Frobenius group G is the semidirect product of K and H:


Both the Frobenius kernel and the Frobenius complement have very restricted structures. J. G. Thompson (1960) proved that the Frobenius kernel K is a nilpotent group. If H has even order then K is abelian. The Frobenius complement H has the property that every subgroup whose order is the product of 2 primes is cyclic; this implies that its Sylow subgroups are cyclic or generalized quaternion groups. Any group such that all Sylow subgroups are cyclic is called a Z-group, and in particular must be a metacyclic group: this means it is the extension of two cyclic groups. If a Frobenius complement H is not solvable then Zassenhaus showed that it has a normal subgroup of index 1 or 2 that is the product of SL(2,5) and a metacyclic group of order coprime to 30. In particular, if a Frobenius complement coincides with its derived subgroup, then it is isomorphic with SL(2,5). If a Frobenius complement H is solvable then it has a normal metacyclic subgroup such that the quotient is a subgroup of the symmetric group on 4 points. A finite group is a Frobenius complement if and only if it has a faithful, finite-dimensional representation over a finite field in which non-identity group elements correspond to linear transformations without nonzero fixed points.

The Frobenius kernel K is uniquely determined by G as it is the Fitting subgroup, and the Frobenius complement is uniquely determined up to conjugacy by the Schur-Zassenhaus theorem. In particular a finite group G is a Frobenius group in at most one way.


The Fano plane

Representation theory

The irreducible complex representations of a Frobenius group G can be read off from those of H and K. There are two types of irreducible representations of G:

Alternative definitions

There are a number of group theoretical properties which are interesting on their own right, but which happen to be equivalent to the group possessing a permutation representation that makes it a Frobenius group.

This definition is then generalized to the study of trivial intersection sets which allowed the results on Frobenius groups used in the classification of CA groups to be extended to the results on CN groups and finally the odd order theorem.

Assuming that is the semidirect product of the normal subgroup K and complement H, then the following restrictions on centralizers are equivalent to G being a Frobenius group with Frobenius complement H: