Finite field

In mathematics, a finite field or Galois field (so-named in honor of Évariste Galois) is a field that contains a finite number of elements. As with any field, a finite field is a set on which the operations of multiplication, addition, subtraction and division are defined and satisfy certain basic rules. The most common examples of finite fields are given by the integers mod p when p is a prime number.

The order of a finite field is its number of elements, which is either a prime number or a prime power. For every prime number p and every positive integer k there are fields of order all of which are isomorphic.

Finite fields are fundamental in a number of areas of mathematics and computer science, including number theory, algebraic geometry, Galois theory, finite geometry, cryptography and coding theory.


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