chernous@math.ualberta.ca, knus@math.ethz.ch, Jean-Pierre.Tignol@uclouvain.be

Submission: 2011, Jun 25

The trialitarian automorphisms considered in this paper are the outer automorphisms of order 3 of adjoint classical groups of type D_4 over arbitrary fields. A one-to-one correspondence is established between their conjugacy classes and similarity classes of symmetric compositions on 8-dimensional quadratic spaces. Using the known classification of symmetric compositions, we distinguish two conjugacy classes of trialitarian automorphisms over algebraically closed fields. For type I, the group of fixed points is of type G_2, whereas it is of type A_2 for trialitarian automorphisms of type II.

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification: 20G15, 11E88

Keywords and Phrases: Triality, composition algebras, octonions

Full text: dvi.gz 46 k, dvi 117 k, ps.gz 1056 k, pdf.gz 229 k, pdf 258 k.

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