# Intermediate fields of cyclotomic splitting fields and the polynomials they split

Consider the splitting field $K$ over $\mathbb Q$ of the cyclotomic polynomial $f(x)=1+x+x^2 +x^3 +x^4 +x^5 +x^6$. Find the lattice of subfields of K and for each subfield $F$ find polynomial $g(x) \in \mathbb Z[x]$ such that $F$ is the splitting field of $g(x)$ over $\mathbb Q$.

My attempt: We know the Galois group to be the cyclic group of order 6. It has two proper subgroups of order 2 and 3 and hence we are looking for only two intermediate field extensions of degree 3 and 2.

$\mathbb Q[\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1}]$ is a real subfield.

$\mathbb Q[\zeta_7-\zeta_7^{-1}]$ is also a subfield.

How do I calculate the degree and minimal polynomial?

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Somehow, the theme of symmetrization often doesn’t come across very clearly in many expositions of Galois theory. Here is a basic definition:

Definition. Let $F$ be a field, and let $G$ be a finite group of automorphisms of $F$. The symmetrization function $\phi_G\colon F\to F$ associated to $G$ is defined by the formula
$$\phi_G(x) \;=\; \sum_{g\in G} g(x).$$

Example. Let $\mathbb{C}$ be the field of complex numbers, and let $G\leq \mathrm{Aut}(\mathbb{C})$ be the group $\{\mathrm{id},c\}$, where $\mathrm{id}$ is the identity automorphism, and $c$ is complex conjugation. Then $\phi_G\colon\mathbb{C}\to\mathbb{C}$ is defined by the formula
$$\phi_G(z) \;=\; \mathrm{id}(z) + c(z) \;=\; z+\overline{z} \;=\; 2\,\mathrm{Re}(z).$$
Note that the image of $\phi$ is the field of real numbers, which is precisely the fixed field of $G$. This example generalizes:

Theorem. Let $F$ be a field, let $G$ be a finite group of automorphisms of $F$, and let $\phi_G\colon F\to F$ be the associated symmetrization function. Then the image of $\phi_G$ is contained in the fixed field $F^G$. Moreover, if $F$ has characteristic zero, then $\mathrm{im}(\phi_G) = F^G$.

Of course, since $\phi_G$ isn’t a homomorphism, it’s not always obvious how to compute a nice set of generators for its image. However, in small examples the goal is usually just to produce a few elements of $F^G$, and then prove that they generate.

Let’s apply symmetrization to the present example. You are interested in the field $\mathbb{Q}(\zeta_7)$, whose Galois group is cyclic of order $6$. There are two subgroups of the Galois group to consider:

The subgroup of order two: This is the group $\{\mathrm{id},c\}$, where $c$ is complex conjugation. You have already used your intuition to guess that $\mathbb{Q}(\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1})$ is the corresponding fixed field. The basic reason that this works is that $\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1}$ is the symmetrization of $\zeta_7$ with respect to this group.

The subgroup of order three: This is the group $\{\mathrm{id},\alpha,\alpha^2\}$, where $\alpha\colon\mathbb{Q}(\zeta_7)\to\mathbb{Q}(\zeta_7)$ is the automorphism defined by $\alpha(\zeta_7) = \zeta_7^2$. (Note that this indeed has order three, since $\alpha^3(\zeta_7) = \zeta_7^8 = \zeta_7$.) The resulting symmetrization of $\zeta_7$ is
$$\mathrm{id}(\zeta_7) + \alpha(\zeta_7) + \alpha^2(\zeta_7) \;=\; \zeta_7 + \zeta_7^2 + \zeta_7^4.$$
Therefore, the corresponding fixed field is presumably $\mathbb{Q}(\zeta_7 + \zeta_7^2 + \zeta_7^4)$.

All that remains is to find the minimal polynomials of $\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1}$ and $\zeta_7 + \zeta_7^2 + \zeta_7^4$. This is just a matter of computing powers until we find some that are linearly dependent. Using the basis $\{1,\zeta_7,\zeta_7^2,\zeta_7^3,\zeta_7^4,\zeta_7^5\}$, we have
\begin{align*} \zeta_7 + \zeta_7^{-1} \;&=\; -1 – \zeta_7^2 – \zeta_7^3 – \zeta_7^4 – \zeta_7^5 \\ (\zeta_7 + \zeta_7^{-1})^2 \;&=\; 2 + \zeta_7^2 + \zeta_7^5 \\ (\zeta_7 + \zeta_7^{-1})^3 \;&=\; -3 – 3\zeta_7^2 – 2\zeta_7^3 – 2\zeta_7^4 – 3\zeta_7^5 \end{align*}
In particular, $(\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1})^3 + (\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1})^2 – 2(\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1}) – 1 = 0$, so the minimal polynomial for $\zeta_7+\zeta_7^{-1}$ is $x^3 + x^2 – 2x – 1$. Similarly, we find that
$$(\zeta_7 + \zeta_7^2 + \zeta_7^4)^2 \;=\; -2 – \zeta_7 – \zeta_7^2 – \zeta_7^4$$
so the minimal polynomial for $\zeta_7 + \zeta_7^2 + \zeta_7^4$ is $x^2+x+2$.