, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 85-116

Generation of classical groups

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Each finite simple group other thanU 3(3) can be generated by three of its involutions. In fact, each such group is generated by two elements, of which one is strongly real and the other is an involution.

The authors thank the MSRI in Berkeley, where this work was begun in Fall 1990, for its hospitality. The first and third author gratefully acknowledge financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.