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## Meditation on the Sylow theorems I

As an undergraduate the proofs I saw of the Sylow theorems seemed very complicated and I was totally unable to remember them. The goal of this post is to explain proofs of the Sylow theorems which I am actually able to remember, several of which use our old friend

The $p$-group fixed point theorem (PGFPT): If $P$ is a finite $p$-group and $X$ is a finite set on which $P$ acts, then the subset $X^P$ of fixed points satisfies $|X^P| \equiv |X| \bmod p$. In particular, if $|X| \not \equiv 0 \bmod p$ then this action has at least one fixed point.

There will be some occasional historical notes taken from Waterhouse’s The Early Proofs of Sylow’s Theorem.

Previously we learned how to count the finite index subgroups of the modular group $\Gamma = PSL_2(\mathbb{Z})$. The worst thing about that post was that it didn’t include any pictures of these subgroups. Today we’ll fix that.