Primitive axial algebras of Jordan type

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  • Department of Mathematics, Michigan State University


An axial algebra over the field F is a commutative algebra generated by idempotents whose adjoint action has multiplicity-free minimal polynomial. For semisimple associative algebras this leads to sums of copies of F. Here we consider the first nonassociative case, where adjoint minimal polynomials divide (x- 1)x(x- η) for fixed 0 ≠ η ≠ 1. Jordan algebras arise when η=1/2, but our motivating examples are certain Griess algebras of vertex operator algebras and the related Majorana algebras. We study a class of algebras, including these, for which axial automorphisms like those defined by Miyamoto exist, and there classify the 2-generated examples. Always for η≠1/2 and in identifiable cases for η=1/2 this implies that the Miyamoto involutions are 3-transpositions, leading to a classification.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-115
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Algebra
Early online date25 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • 3-Transpositions, Axial algebra, Griess algebra, Jordan algebra, Majorana algebra

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