4. A second important set is constituted by those functions which
are denoted by partitions in which only unity appears as a part. It is
These are sometimes called unitary functions.
The set is particularly connected with the Theory of Algebraic Equations because
the last term being , according as is even or uneven. Hence considering the equation
and supposing the
roots to be
it is clear that
and we at once deduce the relations
These functions are frequently called ‘elementary’ symmetric functions because they arise in this simple manner.
It is sometimes convenient, undoubtedly, to regard the quantities
as being the roots of an equation, the left-hand side of
which involves the elementary functions with alternately positive and
negative signs, but the notion is not essential to the study of the
subject of symmetric functions.
5. There is a third important series of functions.
Of the weight there are functions which in the partition notation
are denoted by partitions of the number .
There is one function corresponding to every such partition.
Such a function, since it is denoted by a single partition, is called a
Monomial Symmetric Function.