A group K is said to be a B-group if every permutation group containing K as a regular subgroup is either imprimitive or 2-transitive. In the second edition of his influential textbook on finite groups, Burnside published a proof that cyclic groups of composite prime-power degree are B-groups. Ten years later in 1921 he published a proof that every abelian group of composite degree is a B-group. Both proofs are character-theoretic and both have serious flaws. Indeed, the second result is false. In this note we explain these flaws and prove that every cyclic group of composite order is a B-group, using only Burnside's character-theoretic methods. We also survey the related literature, prove some new results on B-groups of prime-power order, state two related open problems and present some new computational data.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society|
|Early online date||27 May 2019|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2019|