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Definition: Elementary Symmetric Functions

Let $a_1,\ldots,a_r\in R$ be elements of a commutative ring and let $x$ be a variable. We form the polynomial
$$\begin{array}{rcl}p(x)&:=&(x-a_1)\cdots (x-a_r)\\
&=&x^r+(-1)^1\Sigma_1x^{r-1}+(-1)^2\Sigma_2x^{r-2}+\ldots+(-1)^{r-1}\Sigma_{r-1}x+(-1)^{r}\Sigma_r
\end{array}$$

The coefficients $\Sigma_1,\ldots,\Sigma_r$ are called elementary symmetric functions $\Sigma_k:R^r\to R$, which are defined as sums
$$\begin{array}{rcl}
\Sigma_1(a_1,\ldots,a_r)&:=&\sum_{1\le k\le r}a_k\\
\Sigma_2(a_1,\ldots,a_r)&:=&\sum_{1\le k < l\le r}a_ka_l\\
\Sigma_3(a_1,\ldots,a_r)&:=&\sum_{1\le k < l < m\le r}a_ka_la_m\\
\vdots&&\\
\Sigma_r(a_1,\ldots,a_r)&:=&a_1\cdots a_r\\
\end{array}$$

| | | | | created: 2019-04-07 21:11:02 | modified: 2019-04-07 21:57:34 | by: bookofproofs | references: [6735]


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Bibliography (further reading)

[6735] Lang, Serge: “Algebra – Graduate Texts in Mathematics”, Springer, 2002, 3rd Edition

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