commutator (plural commutators)
- An electrical switch, in a generator or motor, that periodically reverses the direction of an electric current.
- (group theory) A binary map in a given group G, given by [g, h] = ghg−1h−1, where g and h are elements of G, which yields the group's identity if and only if the group operation commutes for g and h.
- (ring theory) A binary map in a given ring R, given by [a, b] = ab − ba, where a and b are elements of R, which yields the ring's zero element if and only if the multiplication operation commutes for a and b.
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